Put Some Respect On The Names Of These Pioneering WNBA Players
Todd Warshaw /Allsport

This week marks the 26th anniversary of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), America’s first all-women’s basketball league. 

Created by the National Basketball Association (NBA) Board of Governors on April 24, 1996 as a counterpart to the NBA, women’s basketball officially pulled up to the court to declare We Got Next as they entered a traditionally male-dominated arena. 

During the 1996 Summer Olympics, that WNBA Dream Team made waves, taking home the gold medal for Team USA and putting women’s basketball on the map. Launching its first season on June 21, 1997, the inaugural league featured eight teams, including the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Cleveland Rockers, Utah Starzz, Charlotte Sting and Sacramento Monarchs. 

Today, the legacy of the WNBA is undeniable, with many pioneering players of the game still making an impact today outside the league. The sportsmanship, athleticism and grace of these women has opened the door for other female players to see themselves on the court and follow in their footsteps to play the game they love. In honor of the league’s anniversary, we pay homage to the trailblazing women who made their mark in the paint.

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