Perhaps no WNBA season—other than the league’s debut in 1997—has been as eagerly anticipated as the current season. Over the past few months, women’s basketball has been in the news. There was unprecedented excitement around the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament, high viewership for the WNBA Draft, and actual news stories about WNBA training camps.

One story that received a lot of coverage last year was Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia. On May 13, Griner played her first Phoenix Mercury game since the 2021 WNBA Finals, scoring 10 points in a preseason game against the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks ultimately prevailed 90–71.

“It was good to be back in front of the fans,” said Griner postgame. “I guess there were a few more cobwebs than I thought, but it was really good. I felt the love. The ones who sit courtside that I know really well, they all came up and talked to me. It was just a good moment. I’m grateful to be here, that’s for sure. I’m not going to take the day for granted.”

The WNBA also recently played its first-ever game in Canada. On Saturday, May 13, the Chicago Sky defeated the Minnesota Lynx 82–72 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto as images of the sold-out arena went viral on social media, and discussion of WNBA expansion heated up.

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The new-look New York Liberty lost two preseason games. The first loss was against the equally new-look Connecticut Sun, now under the leadership of head coach Stephanie White. None of the Liberty’s new names—Jonquel Jones, Breanna Stewart or Courtney Vandersloot—played, which allowed coach Sandy Brondello to get a look at last year’s top draft pick, Nyara Sabally, who missed the 2022 season due to injury, and fellow 2022 draft pick Sika Koné, who opted out last year. Koné was the Liberty’s top scorer with 10 points.

The Liberty also lost a preseason game 84–77 against the defending WNBA Champions, the Las Vegas Aces. Jones and Stewart made their Liberty debuts, but neither played more than 24 minutes, again enabling the coaching staff to see which players will fill out the roster. Among the contenders was Brooklyn native Epiphanny Prince, who previously played with the Liberty from 2015–18.

Teams will make their final cuts today and the season begins tomorrow. The Liberty opens its season against the Washington Mystics tomorrow evening, and the team’s home court opener at Barclays Center is Sunday afternoon versus the Indiana Fever.

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