Ionescu debuts, Stewart returns as WNBA season opens on July 25


Posted at Jul 14 2020 02:35 PM

(L-R) Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart, and Sue Bird, seen here in a FIBA photo from the 2018 Women's World Cup, will all be in action during the WNBA opening day. FIBA Media

The WNBA opens its 24th season with a triple-header on July 25, a slate highlighted by a showdown between Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird's Seattle Storm and Sabrina Ionescu's New York Liberty.

The entire season will take place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where all 12 teams have been in a bubble since last week to help curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

Teams will play a 22-game schedule, which is set to conclude on September 12 and will be followed by a traditional playoffs and finals format.

The season-opener is the highly anticipated showdown between the Storm and the Liberty, which features the return of 2015 WNBA MVP Stewart from injury and the debut of No. 1 overall draft pick Ionescu.

To follow is another exciting match-up between the Los Angeles Sparks, led by former MVPs Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, and the Phoenix Mercury, anchored by the league's all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi.

The triple-header concludes with the game between the Indiana Fever and defending champion Washington Mystics.

The opening weekend will be dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, with teams honoring the victims of police brutality and racial violence.

"As we build on the momentum for women's sports and the WNBA from last season, we’re incredibly grateful to our broadcast partners who have shown a continued commitment to bringing the WNBA to fans across the country on their biggest platforms," WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement.

"This 2020 WNBA season will truly be one unlike any other, and we’re looking forward to using our collective platform to highlight the tremendous athletes in the WNBA as well as their advocacy for social change."

The WNBA has announced that during the games scheduled for July 25 and 26, team uniforms will display Breonna Taylor's name, "as uniforms will display Breonna Taylor’s name as WNBA players raise awareness and seek justice for the women and girls who have been the forgotten victims of police brutality and racial violence."

Throughout the season, players will wear warm-up shirts bearing "Black Lives Matter" in front and "Say Her Name" on the back.

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