The WNBA returns to the networks of ESPN today with one of two games on ABC. In addition to today’s Phoenix at Seattle, ABC will air the WNBA All-Star Game in July. ESPN2 will take the rest of the 13 game regular season schedule. We have your press release.
Defending Champion Seattle Meets Phoenix in Season Opener on June 4 on ABC
New York and Los Angeles Celebrate 15th Anniversary with Rematch of First WNBA Game
ESPN2 and ABC will present the 15th season of the WNBA when the networks combine to air 13 regular-season games in addition to the WNBA All-Star Game. The schedule is comprised of games featuring all 12 WNBA teams and will tip off when defending champion Seattle Storm host the Phoenix Mercury Saturday, June 4, at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. All coverage will air in high definition, and ESPN3.com will simulcast all 12 ESPN2 games.
ESPN2 will help celebrate the 15th anniversary of the season when the New York Liberty meet the Los Angeles Sparks in a rematch of the league’s first game on the same date in 1997 – Tuesday, June 21, at 10 p.m. in Los Angeles. The telecast will include a halftime roundtable looking back at the league’s history. WNBA legend and current ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo, one of the featured players in that inaugural contest, will be calling the game for ESPN2.
In addition, ESPN2 will showcase coverage of the 2011 WNBA postseason, including the Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals, Conference Finals and WNBA Finals beginning Thursday, Sept. 15.
ESPN will present the WNBA All-Star Game Saturday, July 23, at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. The annual event will take place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, and will showcase the league’s best players in an East vs. West matchup.
Schedule & Telecast Highlights
- Five appearances by the defending champion Seattle Storm, featuring the tandem of guard Sue Bird and forward Lauren Jackson, the 2010 regular-season and Finals MVP;
- Five appearances by the Phoenix Mercury led by veterans Diana Taurasi, the 2009 MVP, and Penny Taylor;
- The Los Angeles Sparks will make four appearances, featuring 2008 MVP Candace Parker, back from a shoulder injury that sidelined her for much of the 2010 season, and Tina Thompson, the only player to have played in every WNBA season;
- Tulsa’s Liz Cambage, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 Draft, who at 6-8 and 19 years old was both the tallest and youngest player selected. The Australian star and her Shock teammates, including legendary Sheryl Swoopes, will face the Indiana Fever Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2;
- A meeting of two No. 1 overall draft picks Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 8 p.m., when the Phoenix Mercury, led by 2004 top pick Taurasi, visit the Minnesota Lynx with the 2011 No. 1 selection and fellow University of Connecticut alum Maya Moore;
- Segments and special guests will be featured throughout the season-long 15-year celebration;
- Halftime studio coverage from Bristol, Conn. during ESPN2 games.
ESPN.com & ESPN Mobile
- WNBA season preview and twice-a-week columns from ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel;
- Special live WNBA coverage including live chats and viewer polls during select games on ESPN2;
- WNBA Power Rankings from John Hollinger for ESPN.com which will be updated after every game;
- Live scores accessible via the ESPN Mobile web site, ScoreCenter and ScoreCenter XL;
- Video highlights, recaps, standings, statistics and features on ESPN Mobile;
- WNBA Game Alerts on ESPN Mobile;
- Additional live coverage for select games available on ESPN Mobile TV.
- espnW contributor Michelle Smith will produce each Monday the “Shootaround” – a quick take on the WNBA’s teams and players, what’s happened over the weekend, what’s to come, who’s hot and who’s not and much more;
- A “Diary of a Rookie” featuring former Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot. espnW contributor Sarah Spain will collaborate with Vandersloot throughout the season with a first-person perspective from on-and-off the court;
- Special elements and pieces, highlighting the WNBA’s 15th anniversary.
For the first time in ESPN history, a professional sports league conducted its draft at ESPN headquarters when the WNBA staged its annual event in Bristol, Conn, on Monday, April 11. The live telecast of the Draft took place in the ESPN studio that is home to Mike & Mike in the Morning, Sunday NFL Countdown and a variety of other ESPN shows.
2011 ESPN-WNBA Schedule (Schedule subject to change; all time are Eastern)
Date Time (ET) Game Network Sat, June 4 3 p.m. Phoenix at Seattle ABC Thu, June 9 7 p.m. Washington at Atlanta ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Tue, June 14 7 p.m. Tulsa at Indiana ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Tue, June 21 8 p.m. Phoenix at San Antonio ESPN2 / ESPN3.com 10 p.m. New York at Los Angeles ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Tue, June 28 8 p.m. Los Angeles at Connecticut ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Tue, July 5 9 p.m. Los Angeles at Phoenix ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Thu, July 14 9 p.m. Seattle at San Antonio ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Tue, July 19 7 p.m. Seattle at Chicago ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Sat, July 23 3:30 p.m. WNBA All-Star Game (San Antonio, Texas) ABC Tue, Aug 2 8 p.m. Phoenix at Minnesota ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Tue, Aug 9 8 p.m. Seattle at New York ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Tue, Aug 23 10 p.m. New York at Phoenix ESPN2 / ESPN3.com Sun, Aug 28 9 p.m. Los Angeles at Seattle ESPN2 / ESPN3.com