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Angel McCoughtry set to return to court with Athletes Unlimited

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Angel McCoughtry last played in the WNBA for the Minnesota Lynx during the 2022 season. (Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images)

Angel McCoughtry is returning to basketball, joining Athletes Unlimited for its third season.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft and a two-time Olympian with USA Basketball, McCoughtry has played in just three WNBA games since 2021 due to injuries. But she will take the court again with Athletes Unlimited, with the season set to run from Feb. 29 through March 23 in Dallas.

“As the newest member of the AU family, I am beyond excited to start this journey. Basketball has always been a passion that drives me,” McCoughtry said in a release. “My focus is clear: I just want to hoop again, to be on the court where I feel most alive. I can’t wait to show the world what I got.”

The 37-year-old is feeling good, she told ESPN, and has been progressing well in both her rehabilitation and workouts.

A former star at Louisville, McCoughtry spent her first 10 WNBA seasons with the Atlanta Dream. While there, she won the 2009 Rookie of the Year award, made the All-Star game five times and was a member of three WNBA Finals teams. Twice she led the league in scoring and steals.

Since becoming a free agent in 2020, McCoughtry has bounced around, helping the Las Vegas Aces to the WNBA Finals in 2020 but missing the 2021 season with a right knee injury. She played two games for the Minnesota Lynx in 2022 before being waived.

“It’s been hell,” she told ESPN. “You go over 10 years never getting hurt. But then you get hurt, you have a surgery, and it changes things. It’s been like a domino effect.”

In November, she visited the USA Basketball camp. While there, she spent time with former Olympic teammates Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner.

McCoughtry says that she still has “something left,” and she hopes that Athletes Unlimited might help her get back to the WNBA.

“I look forward to showing that I still have ability,” she told ESPN. “I feel like playing AU can help me get back in the WNBA. I know the narrative is, ‘She hasn’t played, she’s older.’ I just want to prove basketball still exists in my world.”

Other WNBA players, including Kelsey Mitchell, Lexie Brown, Allisha Gray and Sydney Colson, have signed back on for another season with Athletes Unlimited.