Breanna Stewart And Napheesa Collier Want To Keep American Women On Friendly Soil During Offseason | WNBA Stars Start Women’s 3-On-3 Pro Hoops League

WNBA superstars Breanna Stewart and Napheesa Collier have founded a new professional women’s basketball league as an alternative for players going overseas, according to reports. The new league, named Unrivaled, will feature top WNBA stars in 3-on-3 play as well as 1-on-1. Its aim is to supplement players’ income and battle the W’s prioritization rule. But is it a good idea?

American Players Want To Play At Home

“It’s the ability for players to stay home, to be in a market like Miami where we can just be the buzz and create that with the best WNBA players,” Stewart told ESPN. “We can’t keep fighting [the WNBA’s prioritization rule]. It is a rule that takes away our choices, which should never be a thing, especially as women, but it is still a rule.”

The W’s prioritization rules, which were part of the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, state that players must return from overseas by the start of training camp to be eligible for the season. The overseas season often runs through mid-May, particularly on a championship team, which conflicts with the start of the W season.

The W is starting to show consistent year over year growth. Stewart and Collier believe it’s the perfect time to capitalize on the league’s popularity. One of their peers, Chelsea Gray, of the reigning champion Las Vegas Aces agrees and thinks Unrivaled represents a huge opportunity.

“I’ve never had the chance to be here and not do anything, but just hoop,” Gray told ESPN. “You get to see our faces throughout the year and it’s a chance to just grow women’s basketball. It’s not necessarily to take away other opportunities, but it’s just a way for players to keep competing, to make money, and to bring fans and bring people close together.”

Can This New League Be An Income Supplement?

W players go overseas because there isn’t enough money playing domestically. The top players make double what they earn in the W overseas, with salaries for the best as high as $500,000-plus.

The league would run from January through March and feature 30 of the top professional women’s players on six teams, playing games of 3-on-3 and one-on-one at a soundstage in Miami.

If Stewart and Collier get the top players in the W on board, this could work. January through March would still have the NFL and NBA to compete with, but hardcore NFL watchers aren’t their audience. And only the most committed NBA fan is watching February and March regular season ball.

The idea of the best players going 1-on-1 and a 3-on-3 format with more space to showcase the incredible skill level is very appealing. Like anything else, the best and most well known will have to lead the way and market it like crazy.

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