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  • Kaunda Chama

WNBA new season tips off Saturday morning


The WNBA will tip off its 23rd season in the early hours of Saturday morning with the season opener featuring the Indiana Fever and Candice Dupree visiting the New York Liberty and Tina Charles.


The season, which will last from May 25 to September, will comprise of 34 regular season games that will be available in Africa through NBA TV on the WNBA app, with 20 games live streamed on Twitter (the Twitter stream will be limited to certain geographical regions).


During the offseason in April, the WNBA unveiled a new logo. This season also marks the debut of the league’s partnership with telecommunications giant AT&T, the first non-apparel partner to have its logo featured on the front of all 12 team jerseys. In addition, player numbers will appear only on the back of the Nike-designed jerseys as team logos are featured more prominently on the front.


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Defending champion Seattle Storm begins its title defense against the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday morning. Last season, the Storm finished a league-best 26-8 and earned its third WNBA championship. Assistant Gary Kloppen- burg will lead Seattle while head coach Dan Hughes recovers from cancer surgery.


Brian Agler, the only WNBA coach to lead two teams to titles, will now guide the Dallas Wings. The Chicago Sky hired longtime WNBA assistant James Wade, whose wife, Edwige Lawson-Wade, played in the WNBA. Five-time NBA champ and former New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher makes his WNBA debut with the Sparks.


Last season, the Washington Mystics lost to Seattle in their WNBA Finals debut. The Atlanta Dream fell one win shy of its first Finals berth since 2013, and the Connecticut Sun lost in the second round for the second year in a row. All three teams begin the season with hopes of winning the WNBA title for the first time.


Other highlights


  • The The Dream led the WNBA in defensive rating last season on its way to a 11-win improvement from 2017.

  • The Connecticut Sun finished 21-13 and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

  • The Indiana Fever’s 20th Anniversary Team will be honored during the team’s home opener against New York on June 1.

  • Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike are the first sisters to play on the same team since Atlanta’s Coco and Kelly Miller in 2010.

  • New York Liberty star Tina Charles’ film about her father, Rawlston, and his record label debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival recently.

  • The Storm will receive its championship rings before Sunday morning’s opener against the Mercury.

  • In 2018, Courtney Vander- sloot set WNBA records for assist average (8.6 apg) and total assists (258).

  • Rookie Megan Gustafson, the 2018-19 AP National Player of the Year, led the nation in points per game as both a junior and senior.

  • Las Vegas Aces’ newly acquired Liz Cambage averaged a WNBA-high 23.0 points last season, highlighted by a record 53-point game.

  • Minnesota Lynx’s Seimone Augustus needs six points to pass Becky Ham- mon for 10th place on the WNBA’s career scoring list.

  • Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner is tied with the Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles for fourth place on the career blocks list, 12 behind #3 Lauren Jackson.

  • 2015 All-Star Emma Meesse- man is back after sitting out last season. The Belgian center averaged 14.1 points in 2017.

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