More Than 30 WNBA Stars Expected To Represent Their Countries In Athens In 2004

WNBA To Extend 2004 Season To Mid-October

NEW YORK, October 15 – The WNBA announced today it will lengthen the 2004 season by four weeks, with the WNBA Finals to be played in mid-October of next year, in order to accommodate the approximately 30 WNBA players expected to represent their countries at the 2004 Olympic Games being held August 13-28 in Athens, Greece.

L.A.'s Lisa Leslie is one of seven WNBA players named as the core of the USA Basketball team expected to represent the U.S. in Athens.
Mitchell Layton
WNBAE/Getty Images
“We are proud that the WNBA has attracted the best women’s basketball players from around the world and as a result so many will play for their national teams in Olympic competition,” said WNBA President Val Ackerman. “By extending the season we are not only supporting our players Olympic dreams but are also ensuring that our players will have the opportunity to compete in a full season of WNBA basketball.”

The WNBA will not play regular season games from August 2 to August 31. In lieu of WNBA games during the month of August, WNBA players will participate in a variety of activities that celebrate the sport of women’s basketball. Players not representing their countries during the Olympics will take part in community outreach initiatives such as “WNBA Mind. Body. Spirit.,” “Read To Achieve,” and “Jr. WNBA,” while at the same time hosting basketball camps and clinics as well as participating in viewing parties throughout the Olympic Games.

WNBA teams will continue to play 34 regular-season games (17 home/17 away) during the 2004 season, with the top four teams in each conference advancing to the playoffs. Each of the three rounds of the playoffs will be decided in a best-two-out-of-three format. The final day of the regular season is slated for September 19. The WNBA Playoffs will begin on September 24, and the WNBA Finals will run from October 8-12.

For the fourth consecutive season, more than 2 million fans attended WNBA games, and a WNBA-record 22,076 fans attended Game 3 of the WNBA Finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills to see the Detroit Shock capture its first WNBA Championship. As the preeminent women's sports league, the WNBA is the destination for the best women's basketball players in the world. WNBA players, both American and international, are dominant forces in international basketball competitions, including the World Championships and Olympics.