After YEARS of begging the WNBA to bring women’s basketball to Canada, it will arrive this May! The league has announced a WNBA pre-season exhibition match will take place Saturday May 13th at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
WNBA basketball in the 6ix. pic.twitter.com/RdAqIDmdKU— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) January 18, 2023
The Chicago Sky and the Minnesota Lynx will be putting on a show for their Canadian fans.
This will be the first ever WNBA game played in Canada, and will hopefully feature Canadian talent. There are currently two Canadians who play in Minnesota, Bridget Carleton and Natalie Achonwa. With Achonwa expecting her first child this year, Carleton may be the sole Canadian player in the game.
The third Canadian player in the WNBA is Kia Nurse, who played last season for the Phoenix Mercury. She is currently an Unrestricted Free Agent, so it is not yet clear where she will be playing this upcoming season.
For all my Canadian Basketball Fans who will be showing out for the WNBA pre-season game in Toronto on May 13th, and don't know much about the league, may I present:— chelsea leite (@chelsealeite) January 18, 2023
WNBA 101#WNBATwitter #WNBA #CanadaBasketball @WNBA @NBACanada @CanBball
The trio are also household names on the Canadian Senior National Team, who recently took 4th place at the FIBA World Cup in Australia. Carleton was selected as one of the tournament’s All-Star Five after a great showing, which resulted in Canada’s first semi-finals appearance at the event.
“Bringing a WNBA preseason game to Canada is an important milestone for the global growth of the league. We’re looking forward building on the momentum and excitement surrounding the WNBA in Canada with this historic game,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert.
The Minnesota Lynx are four-time WNBA champions with a rich history in the league. They recently said goodbye to WNBA Legend Sylvia Fowles, who retired at the end of 2022 season. They also have 2017 Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier on the squad, and will look to add talent this year with the No.2 pick in the upcoming 2023 WNBA Draft.
The Chicago Sky made history in 2021 by winning their first WNBA Championship, and last year hosted the WNBA All-Star game. That Championship was achieved with a roster consisting of WNBA powerhouses Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot, Kahleah Copper, and Allie Quigley.
Though we are currently deep into WNBA Free Agency, and therefore cannot 100% predict the exact rosters to be featured in the Toronto game, the match is still set to make history. With a league consisting of only 144 players at most, the WNBA is incredibly competitive and entertaining.
This will be the third WNBA game played outside of the United States. The first was in 2004, when the Detroit Shock and San Antontio Silver Stars played in Mexico. In 2011, the Atlanta Dream played the Great Britain Women’s Basketball team in Manchester, England.
The game in May will be presented by Tangerine Bank, and is set to be broadcast on both Sportsnet and TSN in Canada, and the WNBA League Pass app internationally.
Fans looking to see the game live can sign up at WNBACanadaGame.com for updates on when tickets will be on sale.