2023/24 CYGNETT WNBL SEASON LAUNCHED
The 2023/24 Cygnett WNBL season was officially launched today with the league boasting world-class players heading into an Olympic year, and looking to ride the wave of an unprecedented following of women’s sport.
Tip-off for 23/24 was celebrated at a breakfast event in Melbourne this morning, marking the 44th iteration of Australia’s longest-running women’s elite competition. Eight teams with a host of stellar basketball talent line up this season, with the first game on November 1, running through to the finals series in March 2024.
Action in 23/24 is highlighted by the return to the WNBL of Australia’s greatest-ever basketballer Lauren Jackson, suiting up again with the Southside Flyers, along with newly-crowned WNBA championship winner Cayla George (Las Vegas Aces) for the Sydney Flames.
Round One will mark Indigenous round, delivered for the first time in conjunction with the NBL. Collectively the two leagues will use their voices and reach to amplify the messaging and stories of our First Nations People and athletes.
This season provides a platform for players looking to represent Australia at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, with current Seven Consulting Opals scattered throughout the league. Four Australian WNBA players feature – Sami Whitcomb (Seattle Storm to Townsville Fire), Kristy Wallace (Atlanta Dream to Melbourne Boomers) and this year’s youngest WNBA player Jade Melbourne (Seattle Storm to UC Capitals).
There are also genuine WNBA superstars hitting the court once again. Jordin Canada, named in the WNBA All-Defensive Team this year, headlines the Melbourne Boomers in her debut season in the WNBL, with three WNBA finalists from the New York Liberty returning to the league – Tianna Hawkins at the Townsville Fire for her second consecutive season, Breanna Turner returning to Adelaide Lighting after two years away and Jocelyn Willoughby who made the switch from Sydney to Adelaide in the off-season.
A feast of exciting and talented young stars are ready for breakout seasons. Saffron Shiels (Townsville), Izzy Bourne and Tayla Brazel (Adelaide), Dallas Loughridge (Southside) and Gemma Potter (UC Capitals) are all players to watch.
Head of WNBL Christy Collier-Hill says the league is poised for significant growth this season.
“We had a record number of people come through the stadium doors last season, with over 150 thousand fans watching the game live,” said Collier-Hill.
“That includes a record-breaking individual game crowd of 7,651, and a huge increase overall in our fan base. These are quite simply some of the best players in the world so I encourage everyone to get out and watch a game,” she said.
Round one tips off on Wednesday November 1 with Adelaide hosting Melbourne.
HOW TO WATCH
All games will again be broadcast live this season. Wednesday night games (and all Finals games) will be on ESPN (Foxtel, KAYO and Sky Sports NZ), while all other games will be shown on the Nine Networks free digital channel, 9Now. Internationally all games will be broadcast live on FIBA YouTube, while also being shown on delay on WNBA League Pass.