Get To Know The Five WNBA Stars That Will Help Caitlin Clark Move The League Forward

The 2024 WNBA season is set to kick off its 28th season on Tuesday, May 28,

In what will be arguably be the league’s most highly-anticipated season since its inaugural season of 1997 — and with names like 2024 No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark taking center stage — here are five other players who’s importance to the league is vital. 

1. A’ja Wilson – Las Vegas Aces

Wilson is the unquestioned best player in the league, having led the Aces to back-to-back championships the past two seasons, becoming the first team to do so since the 2000 and 2001 Los Angeles Sparks who were led by Basketball Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie.

In many ways, Wilson’s dynamic skill set mirrors that of the great Leslie on both ends, with both winning multiple league and WNBA Finals MVPs.

While Leslie didn’t win DPOY, she was a force on that end herself. Wilson has won the past two DPOY awards. 

Wilson’s enthusiasm and infectious smile are huge for the league, and she has a chance to lead the Aces to a three-peat, which would be the league’s first since the Houston Comets led by the legendary trio of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson won the first four titles (1997-2000). The Aces will be the betting favorite, and it’s because of the dynamic former South Carolina Gamecocks star. 

2. Breanna Stewart – New York Liberty 

Stewie, as she’s affectionately known is widely considered the closest in talent to Wilson, and she leads the only team that could likely upset the loaded Aces squad.

The two faced off in last season’s WNBA Finals, with the Aces winning in four games. It was the second time the two megastars faced each other in the Finals, with Stewart leading her former Seattle Storm team to a sweep of the Aces in the 2020 WNBA Bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Stewart’s skill set in similar to Wilson’s, the difference being Wilson’s strength around the rim versus Stewie’s sniper-like touch from the perimeter.

Playing in New York, where the Liberty is hungry for a title having played in numerous Finals in the early years of the league, Stewart was seen as one the brightest stars before her arrival only elevated her status. She is the reigning MVP. 

Stewart and Wilson will look to lead Team USA to its eighth consecutive gold medal at this summer’s Paris Olympics. 

3. Sabrina Ionescu – New York Liberty

It’s not every day you train with the late, great Kobe Bryant or face off against Steph Curry in the three-point contest at NBA All-Star Weekend, unless you’re Sabrina Ionescu.

The Liberty sharpshooter’s star power has been obvious since she starred at Oregon. Now teaming up with the aforementioned Stewart, she’s being asked to bring the title-deprived Big Apple a basketball championship, something they haven’t seen since the 1973 Knicks did so. 

For that reason alone she’s important to the game, but playing in NYC only magnifies the pressure. 

Ionescu recently spoke to USA Today about the growth of the women’s game.

Speaking from an unveiling of a basketball court in Los Angeles, SI had this to say: 

“I’m excited to see how teams do and how attendance and viewership and records just continue to get broken for us.”

4. Aliyah Boston – Indiana Fever

The reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year is now the teammate of one Caitlin Clark.

That alone should help boost the exposure and visibility in and around Boston. The 6-foot-5 post player with the smooth jumper shot a league-high (57.8 percent) from the field as a rookie while averaging a very solid 14.5 points and 8.4 reboundsper game.

Playing with Clark, who brings the perimeter punch that the Fever desperately need, will only elevate Boston’s play and effectiveness. 

Seattle Storm star Jewel Loyd recently raved about Boston’s play.

“I got to know her through USA Basketball,” Lloyd said. “She’s phenomenal. Great person. Works really hard. Sky’s the limit for her. The more you put in the time and believe in who you are, I think that helps a lot. And she definitely has the two aspects.”

5. Angel Reese – Chicago Sky

Since we’re not including Caitlin Clark because that’s obvious, it’s only right that we include Reese, whose social media following of (2.7 million) followers dwarfs just about any WNBA player overall on her platforms.

That type of following makes her important in this era of social media, where clicks, views and impressions mean everything. 

Reese’s toughness, grit and style is also something that Chicago will embrace, further elevating her exposure and visibility. 

“ChiTown Barbie.”

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