2011 WNBA Schedule Released

Nolan Richardson and the Tulsa Shock will make their home debut on June 10 when the San Antonio Silver Stars visit to tip-off the 2011 season in Tulsa.The home opener will be the Shock’s third game of the season as they open on road at San Antonio on Saturday June 4th and then travel to Minnesota for a game on Tuesday June 7th which will likely be a matchup between the first and second overall picks in the 2011 WNBA Draft.

The 2010 World Champion Seattle Storm will make their first trip to Tulsa on Tuesday June 21st. Other notable home games:

  • Thursday June 23 – versus Cappie Pondexter and the New York Liberty

  • Friday July 8th – versus the 2010 leading scorer Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury

  • Friday July 15th – versus Candace Parker, Andrea Riley and the LA Sparks

  • Thursday July 26th – versus Angel McCoughtry and the Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream

The WNBA will tip off its 15th season on Friday, June 3, with the Minnesota Lynx visiting the Los Angeles Sparks, highlighted by the return of All-Star Candace Parker. The defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm, along with reigning MVP Lauren Jackson and All-Star Sue Bird, begins its title defense when it hosts league scoring champion, Diana Taurasi, and the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday, June 4, in a nationally-televised game on ABC.

For the sixth consecutive year, ESPN2 will feature “WNBA Tuesdays” as the viewing destination for basketball fans. “WNBA Tuesdays” begin June 14, as Coach Nolan Richardson and the Tulsa Shock tip off against 2010 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever. ESPN2 will air a number of other primetime games throughout the summer and cap the season with an expanded number of telecasts during the WNBA Playoffs and Finals. All games will be available in high definition and ESPN and ESPN2 games will be simulcast on ESPN3.com.

The 2011 WNBA season marks the third year of the league’s eight-year deal that allows ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 to televise games through 2016. The agreement provides the WNBA a rights fee, a first in U.S. women’s professional sports league history, and extends the league’s relationship with ESPN, which commenced in 1997, to 20 years.

As the WNBA heads into its 15th regular season, it will build on the positive momentum that saw a fourth consecutive year of league wide attendance growth, a 36 percent increase in average playoff attendance, along with higher gate receipts and TV viewership.

Combined WNBA coverage on ESPN2 and NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour television network, will feature over 70 contests.

Other key television match-ups throughout the 2011 WNBA regular season include:

  • The defending Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream and Angel McCoughtry host Crystal Langhorne, Alana Beard and the Washington Mystics in a conference rivalry game on Thursday, June 9 (ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET)

  • Marking the 15th anniversary of the WNBA’s inaugural game, Cappie Pondexter and the New York Liberty tip off against Tina Thompson and the Sparks on Tuesday, June 21 (ESPN2, 10 p.m. ET)

  • 2010 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery and the Connecticut Sun host the Sparks on Tuesday, June 28 (ESPN2, 8:00 p.m. ET)

  • In a battle of All-Star duos, the Minnesota Lynx, led by Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus, host the Mercury with Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree on Tuesday, Aug. 2 (ESPN2, 8:00 p.m. ET)

  • The Storm hosts the Sparks in a Western Conference matchup featuring two of the world’s premier front court players in Candace Parker and Lauren Jackson on Sunday, August 28 (ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. ET)

The 2011 WNBA regular season runs from Friday, June 3 to Sunday, September 11.

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