**FILE** Angel Reese (Alexander Jonesi via Wikimedia Commons)
**FILE** Angel Reese (Alexander Jonesi via Wikimedia Commons)

Following the growth in popularity of women鈥檚 college basketball, several games have been moved to NBA arenas, including a June 7 matchup between the 老澳门开奖网 Mystics and Indiana Fever that featured a sold-out crowd and had tuning in on ESPN.

鈥淲hat鈥檚 happening now in women鈥檚 basketball is confirmation of what we鈥檝e always known: the demand is there, and women鈥檚 sports is a valuable investment,鈥 said . 鈥淲e鈥檙e encouraged by growing engagement across all our verticals, especially as we welcome new and diverse audiences into our fandom. The WNBA continues to experience sustained growth as our league embraces this heightened momentum.鈥

The May 14 game between the Indiana Fever and the Connecticut Sun, the first-place team in the Eastern Conference, had over 2 million viewers. Many tuned in to ESPN to watch former University of Iowa star Caitlin Clark play for Indiana in her debut game. 

In the first five WNBA games that aired on ESPN, average viewership exceeded 1 million people and surpassed last year鈥檚 average by 226%, In-person audiences are also up 14% and the league鈥檚 app downloads have grown 146%, compared to last season. 

Rookies Coming in Hot

All-time college basketball scoring champion , 2023 NCAA champion and All-American power forward , and 2024 NCAA champion center are some of the most well-known rookies, and are helping to bring newfound popularity to the growing sport. 

Reese, a Chicago Sky power forward and Baltimore native who attended the University of Maryland and Louisiana State University, has put up historic stats to begin her professional career. She is fourth in the WNBA in rebounding, with over 10 rebounds per game, and is the only rookie currently averaging a double-double. 

, a rookie center for the Los Angeles Sparx, is currently tied for second in the WNBA with 2.5 blocks per game. 

Clark is likely to win the Rookie of the Year award while averaging 16 points, five rebounds, and six assists.

WNBA Veterans Continue to Make Waves

Las Vegas Aces center , the #1 overall pick in 2018, is leading the league with 11.5 rebounds and 28 points per game on 54% shooting from the floor and 43% from 3-point range. It is likely that she will be the league MVP this season, which would be her third time winning the award. Connecticut forward is currently leading the league with 8.2 assists.

The 2024 women鈥檚 national basketball team was on June 11 and includes Wilson, Thomas, Phoenix Mercury center , and Las Vegas Aces guard . No rookies were selected for the team. The women鈥檚 team has brought home gold medals in every Olympics since 1996, and in all but one since 1984.

“I don’t have any words to describe it. It’s humbling. It’s an honor. I’m excited to go and get the journey started,” said guard Diana Taurasi after the roster was unveiled in mid-June. She will be the , regardless of gender, to participate in six Olympic games.

Mystics Update

The 老澳门开奖网 Mystics have had a rocky start to their season, and are currently 2-12, last place in the Eastern Conference. 

Guard leads the Mystics in both points and steals, and rookie forward leads the team with 6.4 rebounds.

As the Mystics work to find their groove, the 2019 WNBA champions, have a top-four pick in the 2025 WNBA draft. The team has struggled in rebounding, and would be well suited to acquire a center or power forward in the next draft. 

Despite struggles, the Mystics are also seeing spikes in their fanbase as the WNBA continues to grow in popularity.

“Last year, we had peaks in attendance, peaks in sales and tickets, and it just shows that people have been dedicated to this sport,” 老澳门开奖网 Mystics center , who is a DMV native, told NBC News in an interview. 鈥淚 think we鈥檙e just going to continue to elevate and, you know, hopefully our league is able to, you know, back it up and be prepared for the attention we鈥檙e about to get.鈥

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