Preseason Slate Paves Way for WNBA Tip-Off 2014 presented by Boost Mobile

WNBA Tips Off 18th Season With 12 Preseason Games

NEW YORK, Mar. 10, 2014 – The WNBA will tip off the 2014 campaign with a slate of 12 preseason games in 12 cities beginning on May 2, when the Tulsa Shock hosts the San Antonio Stars at the BOK Center. For the fifth consecutive year, WNBA teams will face international competition during the preseason as both the Australian National Women’s Basketball Team and the Chinese National Women's Olympic Basketball Team are scheduled to visit.

The Los Angeles Sparks, who reached the postseason last year behind league MVP Candace Parker, will play host to both the Australian National Women's Basketball Team (May 3, at Southwest College in Los Angeles) and the Chinese National Women's Olympic Basketball Team (May 10, at University of California, Riverside). The Australian National Team also will visit the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx, led by Maya Moore, MVP of the 2013 WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile (May 5, at Target Center).

Top WNBA draft picks and veterans debuting with their new teams, as well as a number of home-and-home series between conference rivals, will be among the highlights of preseason action. The Connecticut Sun, who has the first overall selection in the 2014 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, will play a home-and-home series with the New York Liberty, owners of the fourth overall selection. The teams will meet at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on May 4, and again four days later at Madison Square Garden in New York. After opening the WNBA’s slate of preseason games, Tulsa and San Antonio, owners of the second and third overall picks, respectively, will meet again in San Antonio (May 6, at AT&T Center).

The three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream, under the direction of new head coach Michael Cooper, who led the Sparks to a pair of WNBA titles (2001, 2002), will begin its quest for a fourth straight trip to the WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile when it hosts the Liberty on May 11, at Philips Arena. On the West Coast, the Seattle Storm will take the first step toward adding to its league record 10 consecutive postseason berths when it hosts Los Angeles (May 11, at KeyArena).

The final game of the 2014 WNBA preseason will see the Chicago Sky, led by reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne -- a Delaware native and former University of Delaware All-America -- host the Washington Mystics at the university’s Bob Carpenter Center Acierno Arena.

The Sparks’ 2014 preseason game against the Chinese National Women's Olympic Basketball Team marks the latest cooperation between the NBA and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), which have a long history of working together to grow the game of basketball in China. In 1985, the NBA first hosted the Chinese National Men’s Basketball Team with exhibition games in the U.S. The NBA and CBA have worked together to stage six sets of NBA preseason games in China and are currently in the fifth year of a joint coaching program that has trained more than 700 coaches. In addition, the CBA Dongguan Basketball School -- an NBA Training Center launched in September, 2011 -- trains elite players in China, ages 12-17.

The WNBA will open its 18th regular season as part of WNBA Tip-Off 2014 presented by Boost Mobile on Friday, May 16, when the Lynx and its quartet of All-Stars -- Moore, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen, and Rebekkah Brunson -- visit the nation’s capital to face the Mystics (at Verizon Center), led by reigning WNBA Coach of the Year, Mike Thibault. WNBA Tip-Off 2014 presented by Boost Mobile will feature 22 games from May 16 through Memorial Day (May 26), culminating with the launch of ESPN2’s seasonlong coverage of the WNBA. ESPN2 will debut its schedule of WNBA games on Memorial Day with a matchup of three of the top four vote-getters in last year’s MVP race -- Minnesota’s Moore, who finished second, and Chicago’s Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles, who finished third and fourth, respectively. The Sky will host the Lynx at Allstate Arena at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The full preseason schedule is as follows:

2014 WNBA Preseason Schedule
Day Date Visiting Team Home Team Local Time Venue City
Fri. May 2 San Antonio Tulsa 11:30 a.m. BOK Center Tulsa, Okla.
Sat. May 3 Australian Nat’l Team Los Angeles 1:00 p.m. Southwest College Los Angeles, Calif.
Sun. May 4 New York Connecticut 1:00 p.m. Mohegan Sun Arena Uncasville, Conn.
Mon. May 5 Washington Indiana 12:00 p.m. Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indianapolis, Ind.
Mon. May 5 Australian Nat’l Team Minnesota 7:00 p.m. Target Center Minneapolis, Minn.
Tue. May 6 Tulsa San Antonio 10:30 a.m. AT&T Center San Antonio, Tex.
Wed. May 7 Indiana Washington 11:30 a.m. Verizon Center Washington, D.C.
Thur. May 8 Connecticut New York 11:00a.m. Madison Square Garden New York, N.Y.
Sat. May 10 China Olympic Team Los Angeles 2:00 p.m. SRC Arena/UC-Riverside Riverside, Calif.
Sun. May 11 Los Angeles Seattle 1:00 p.m. KeyArena Seattle, Wash.
Sun. May 11 New York Atlanta 3:00 p.m. Philips Arena Atlanta, Ga.
Tue. May 13 Washington Chicago 7:00 p.m. University of Delaware Newark, Del.

* Schedule subject to change

About the WNBA

The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. The league, which counts Boost Mobile as its leaguewide marquee partner, will tip off its 18th season in May 2014. Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

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Contacts:
Ron Howard, (212) 407-8641, rhoward@nba.com
Samantha Tager, (212) 407-8358, stager@nba.com

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