Ahead of AU Basketball’s season debut, the women’s sports organization is also getting a special on CBS Sports commemorating its inception and growth thus far.
Athletes Unlimited Basketball is headed to the Lone Star State next year. On Tuesday, the innovative network of professional women’s sports leagues announced its second season will tip off on February 22, 2023 and conclude on March 26, 2023 from the Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, Texas. Similar to its inaugural campaign, the roster of at least 30 athletes competing will include a number of current and former WNBA players like Naz Hillmon, Allisha Gray, and newly-crowned WNBA champion Sydney Colson.
“I am thrilled to be playing AU Basketball in front of the great fans in Dallas next year,” Gray told Boardroom on the occasion. “If anyone knows how supportive the fans are in Dallas, it’s me.”
“A combination of AU Basketball and the NCAA Final Four make Dallas THE hotbed for women’s basketball in 2023,” Hillmon added. “I hope we can build off this momentum and continue to grow our great game here in the United States.”
Similar to its other leagues, Athletes Unlimited Basketball relies on a spectrum of scoring innovations to bring both competitors and spectators a unique and intense version of the game. Individual players earn points dependent on both team wins and individual performance in order to become the eventual champion. These points are earned on every play, and fans should expect the leaderboard to change constantly as a result. Team rosters also change each week, with the top four athletes in AU’s scoring system serving as captains tasked with selecting their respective lineups.
At the end of the five-week season, the player with the most overall points is crowned individual champion.
“We are excited about the quality of our roster, and the number of top players who have signed on to compete in Athletes Unlimited Basketball,” Athletes Unlimited CEO and co-founder Jon Patricof said to Boardroom. “In addition to some of the more recognizable names, we also have a significant number of bright young stars who see the opportunity to compete with other world-class players while recognizing the value of staying closer to home. This is clearly another great sign for the continued growth of women’s sports; not only in terms of AU Basketball returning, but to have CBS on board to carry five of the games as well as air a national broadcast special on AU, as well as the Air National Guard supporting us. Major brands and broadcasters are recognizing the power of this audience, and specifically the value of partnering with Athletes Unlimited to reach our passionate and growing fan base.”
When the first Athletes Unlimited Basketball league took place in Las Vegas last year, Tianna Hawkins was named the league’s individual champion, while Lexie Brown, Natasha Cloud, and Isabelle Harrison rounded out the top four players on the leaderboard.
Audiences curious about Athletes Unlimited’s remarkable rise should tune into a national special on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1:30 p.m. ET — hosted by Heather Cox, the CBS Sports production Athletes Unlimited: A Pro Sports Revolution will chronicle the organization’s growth from its launch to the present day, provide a breakdown of AU’s scoring system, and highlight other innovations unique to Athletes Unlimited.
In September, the organization announced a monumental $30 million fundraise supported by a group of investors dedicated to growing the women’s game. Among those backers include Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, and Cleveland Guardians owner David Blitzer, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s 35V, and four-time US Olympic hockey player Angela Ruggiero.