The famed Chi-League returned over the weekend, and this time with a women’s bracket.
Dreamville and Wilson teamed up to bring the pro-am league back to Chicago following a four-year hiatus. Aimed at building bonds with the Chicago basketball community in multiple ways, Chi-League introduced a women’s event this year with four 10-player teams.
“Basketball is such a big part of Chicago,” said former WNBA player Dev Peters, who coached Team Truth in the women’s bracket Sunday. “Chi-League has always been really big out here so to finally bring it back and have women participate – it’s huge. Women in Chicago are out here killing it too, so to have that added aspect and to be able to put them on that same platform is really big.”
In addition to the games, participants attended a “Dinner of Influence” hosted by Wilson and The Winning Edge on Friday. The event brought together a diverse cohort of current and former student-athletes for workforce training. Players also had the opportunity to interact with Wilson and Dreamville employees through mentorship and professional development activities in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
Over the weekend, Wilson and Dreamville launched a series of youth clinics, where young players will learn from local basketball trainers and Chi-League coaches every Saturday of the league.
The first game of the women’s bracket on Sunday between Whitney Young Legends and Team Truth went down to the wire. Tied at 60 with 43 seconds left, Whitney Young Legends took the lead on a clutch 3-pointer from Kiana Johnson and won 64-60.
In the second game, Team THK Crew dominated “ASWBL” Ana Sierra Women’s Basketball League. Four players scored in double figures to lead Team THK Crew to a 66-41 victory.
“Being from the Midwest and playing AAU in Chicago, I always knew about the Chi-League and I also know how competitive and talented the hoop scene is in Chicago. So for the Chi-League to be back, I think it’s huge,” said Taya Reimer, a professional player currently competing overseas. “Even more so to have the women’s division because it is not common to find really strong women’s pro-ams the way you find men’s ones. So I am really happy to be a part of it not only working for Wilson as an intern but also to be able to play in it as well for team THK Crew.”
In between the games, Whitney Young Legends’ Chanise Jenkins won the 3-point contest for the women’s division.
“With it being the 25th anniversary of the WNBA, I think it’s amazing that the Chi-League was brought back and provided a platform for women in the city of Chicago,” said WNBA player Linnae Harper, who appeared in one game for the Minnesota Lynx this season. “It’s amazing to see a lot of talented women on and off the court putting on for the city.”