From the Desk of WNBA President Donna Orender...

A Letter to the Fans

Dear fans,

This Saturday, May 20th, the WNBA will tip-off its historic 10th Anniversary season. It is a milestone in which we should all take great pride.

With your ongoing support, we have built a league that boasts the best women's basketball in the world. It features thrilling competition driven by inspiring athletes on and off the court. Our league transcends basketball in its ability to inspire people everywhere, particularly young girls, to aspire to achieve. Based on your feedback, these past nine years have been a remarkable success.

The WNBA has never been better positioned than now. This year we're expanding with a 14th franchise, the Chicago Sky, debuting in the nation's third largest market. Our games will be seen in over 198 countries and our 20 millionth fan will enter one of our arenas. This is happening at a time when basketball has become the number one participation sport among girls, and in an era when, more than ever, society celebrates the achievements of women.

On the court, this rookie class represents an incremental leap in talent. Seimone Augustus of the Lynx, Cappie Pondexter playing for the Mercury and Monique Currie in Charlotte are names you will be more familiar with as they have given early notice of their abilities. They join our more established stars, Diana Taurasi, Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings who are all intent on bringing championships home to their cities.

A little over 10 years ago, young girls didn't have a way to fulfill their dream of playing pro basketball in the U.S. Now they do, because of the players, teams and fans like you, who have made the WNBA what is today.

From our "10 Years of Caring" community initiatives, to the naming of the All Decade Team and the WNBA's 10 Greatest Moments, to the All Star Game's return to Madison Square Garden, we will honor our league's history, while continuing to build our future. We've adopted the 24-second clock and four quarter format, both of which are certain to change our game for the better.

Also, special thanks to Tamecka Dixon, Vickie Johnson, Lisa Leslie, Mwadi Mabika, Wendy Palmer-Daniel, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Van Chancellor who give new meaning to the word "dedication." Each of them has been with the WNBA since its beginning and has contributed immeasurably to the league's development and popularity.

So with our historic 10th season just days away, I would like to personally invite you, our fans, to join us in celebrating throughout the year. Bring your friends and families to a game (or two… or three…) and watch our games on ABC, ESPN2 and on wnba.com all season long.

The unwavering passion of our fans has made our league strong, vibrant and poised for continued growth. So on behalf of our players, coaches, staff and partners, thank you for ten years of support and encouragement.

Thanks,

Donna Orender

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