As AU Basketball begins its inaugural season on Jan. 26, here’s what hoop fans need to know about the new league.
On Wednesday, a new basketball adventure begins in Las Vegas. Athletes Unlimited, the innovative network of women’s pro sports leagues that’s already put a fresh spin on softball, lacrosse, and volleyball, is taking its act to the hardwood.
For the next several weeks, 44 professional hoopers will fight for AU Basketball supremacy. Here’s what you need to know about the new league, including the tip-off times, the big names to follow, and how to watch the action.
What is Athletes Unlimited?
Founded in 2020, AU is a pro sports organization that set out to rethink the way we organize our leagues and cultivate and showcase athletic talent.
Athletes Unlimited hosts four women’s professional sports leagues across volleyball, softball, lacrosse, and basketball, the latter of which is the most recent to debut. AU doesn’t have formal teams with formal majority owners; the athletes themselves own equity in the league and contribute directly to decisions on rules and regulations.
A weekly player leaderboard is kept that’s guided by a scoring system taking into account both team and individual performance. The players at the top of the leaderboard become team captains for the following week and draft new teams for the next round of competition.
What is AU Basketball?
Athletes Unlimited basketball is the newest league under the AU brand and features 44 players distributed across four teams. The player pool is a combination of past and present WNBA players, pros from other clubs in the US and overseas, and former college basketball standouts from all corners of the country.
Who are the team captains for the first week of play?
Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever), Mercedes Russell (Seattle Storm), Odyssey Sims (Atlanta Dream), and DiJonai Carrington (Connecticut Sun)
Who are some of the other notable players in the league?
Fans can expect names like Natasha Cloud (Washington Mystics), Sydney Colson (NCAA national champ, seven WNBA seasons), Ty Young (10 WNBA seasons), Courtney Williams (2021 WNBA All-Star, most recently of the Atlanta Dream), and Essence Carson (2011 WNBA All-Star, 2016 WNBA champion) to get busy early and often this season and have their say on the leaderboard.
When is the first game?
AU Basketball tips off at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 26 with Team Russell vs. Team Sims. The game streams live on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
At 11 p.m. ET, Team Mitchell takes on Team Carrington on CBS Sports Network.
How long is the season?
AU Basketball will showcase five competition weeks lasting through Feb. 26.
How can I watch AU Basketball?
Athletes Unlimited Basketball’s television broadcast partners are FOX Sports, CBS Sports, and Bally Sports’ regional networks.