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WNBA training camp: Which rookies will get their shot?

Naz Hillmon greets Cathy Engelbert after being selected 15th overall by the Atlanta Dream. (Evan Yu/Just Women’s Sports)

WNBA teams open training camp Monday, and most teams have released their training camp rosters as they start to gear up for the season.

Both drafted and undrafted rookies will look to make their mark as they compete for the few spots available on already competitive WNBA rosters. Each team can carry a maximum of 12 players into the season.

Atlanta Dream

In addition to drafting Rhyne Howard as the No. 1 overall pick and selecting Naz Hillmon at No. 15, the Atlanta Dream signed Georgia guard Que Morrison to a training camp contract Tuesday.

The Dream are one of the few teams in the league that could see competition at multiple positions ahead of the team’s first WNBA season under head coach Tanisha Wright. The Dream have 16 players listed on their roster ahead of training camp.

Chicago Sky

The Sky added undrafted rookies Lexi Held and Kayla Wells to their training camp roster. Held spent four seasons at DePaul, averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 assists in her senior season. Wells spent five seasons at Texas A&M, averaging 15.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 2021-22.

The Sky’s roster stands at 22 players. In addition to Held and Wells, Rhode Island’s Emmanuelle Tahane joins the Sky as an undrafted rookie.

Fifth-year player Imani McGee-Stafford and second-year player Kysre Gondrezick will also attempt to make the Sky roster, which is returning much of its 2021 championship team.

Connecticut Sun

The Sun picked up three undrafted rookies in addition to draftees Nia Clouden, Kiara Smith and Jordan Lewis.

Alexus Dye, Delicia Washington and Aleksa Gulbe were all signed to training camp contracts by the team. The team’s total training camp roster sits at 20 players.

Another looking to compete for a spot on the 12-player roster is Taj Cole, who was signed by the team at the beginning of the Athletes Unlimited basketball season.

Dallas Wings

The Wings finalized their training camp roster Thursday, with draftees Veronica Burton, Jazz Bond and Jasmine Dickey all featured.

Destinee Walker, a 2021 Dallas training camp signee, and Morgan Bertsch, a 2019 Dallas draft pick, will also compete for spots on the roster.

Indiana Fever

In addition to a plethora of draft picks Monday, the Fever announced that they had signed undrafted rookie Erin Whalen out of Dayton to a training camp contract.

The Fever will be looking to fill many holes during the preseason, with plenty of opportunities to make the regular season roster. They carry 22 players into their preseason training camp.

Las Vegas Aces

The Aces have some key training camp additions, including Sydney Colson and Kalani Brown out of the Athletes Unlimited season.

They also added six rookies during Monday’s draft ahead of Becky Hammon’s first season as a WNBA head coach. The team waived one player ahead of the draft, bringing its training camp total to 16.

Los Angeles Sparks

Los Angeles reloaded during the offseason, including the key addition of Liz Cambage. The team also acquired Lexie Brown from the Sky and added Jordin Canada from Seattle.

The Sparks drafted Rae Burrell, Kianna Smith, Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Amy Atwell. They carry a roster of 18 into the preseason.

Minnesota Lynx

The Lynx finalized their training camp roster Wednesday, signing draftees Kayla Jones and Hannah Sjerven. Undrafted rookies Chloe Bibby, Cece Hooks and Moon Ursin were also added to the roster.

The status of Napheesa Collier, who due to give birth to her first child in May. Collier has expressed interest in returning for what will be Sylvia Fowles’ final season but her game-readiness could be a factor.

The Lynx are carrying 20 players on their training camp roster.

New York Liberty

New York has announced that first-round pick Nyara Sabally will not play the upcoming season, and neither will third-round pick Sika Kone. Second-round pick Lorela Cubaj will look to make the 12-player roster on a team that also boasts Stefanie Dolson and Michaela Onyenwere.

The Liberty will have 14 players in training camp without Sabally and Kone.

Phoenix Mercury

The Mercury’s roster has little room thanks to the offseason additions of Diamond DeShields and Tina Charles. But the absence of Brittney Griner – without any knowledge of when she could return from being detained in Russia – certainly hangs over the team.

Leaonna Odom, Jennie Simms, Kiana Williams and Kristine Anigwe are all signed to training camp contracts and will be looking to make the regular season roster. A total of 18 players are on the roster heading into the Mercury’s training camp, the team’s first under new head coach Vanessa Nygaard.

Seattle Storm

On Thursday, the Storm announced the signing of undrafted rookies Raina Perez, Jenna Giacone and Paisley Harding to training camp contracts. Perez joins NC State teammate and Storm draftee Elissa Cunane in Seattle.

Ahead of what is likely to be Sue Bird’s final season, the Storm are carrying 19 players into training camp, including draftees Evina Westbrook and Jade Melbourne.

Washington Mystics

The Mystics carry No. 3 pick Shakira Austin into preseason, as well as second-round pick Christyn Williams and undrafted rookie Jennifer Coleman out of the Naval Academy.

International players Lee Seul Kang and Rui Machida also join Washington. The team is carrying 18 players into training camp.

Esme Morgan Signs With Washington Spirit

Esme Morgan of England inspects the pitch prior to the UEFA Women's EURO 2025 qualifying match between England and France
The England national will join the Spirit in DC on July 15th. (Naomi Baker - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

English defender Esme Morgan has signed with the Washington Spirit, the club announced Thursday. 

Morgan had been with WSL side Manchester City since 2017, with one year remaining on her contract. She’ll now make a move to the NWSL, with City receiving a fee for the move. 

"I wanted to join the Spirit because they have the ambition and tools to be the best team in the NWSL, and trying to achieve that will be a great but enjoyable challenge," Morgan said in a club statement.

"On an individual level too, the opportunity to work under Jonatan [Giráldez], one of the world's best coaches, is really exciting and I look forward to learning from him and pushing myself to become the best player I can be, hopefully helping the team to success."

According to ESPN, Morgan’s lack of playing time under City manager Gareth Taylor played a key role in her decision to leave the league championship runners-up. She’ll join the Spirit in Washington, DC on July 15th, but won’t be able to begin play until August. 

Spirit president Mark Krikorian called Morgan an "exceptional talent" and added that the club is "thrilled" to add her to the roster.

"I think she’s pretty talented," Giraldez told reporters on Friday. "A young player with a great future, but with experience already in a great league and with the national team. She’s been surrounded by great players and also great coaches, so she can give us experience."

Ledecky Goes for 4 at Olympic Swimming Trials

Swimmer katie ledecky swimming at Toyota US Open
Decorated swimmer Katie Ledecky is aiming to make her fourth-straight Olympic squad. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

The US Olympic Swimming Trials begin this weekend, running from June 15th through June 23rd in Indianapolis, with Katie Ledecky eyeing her fourth-straight Summer Games.

While traditionally held in Omaha, Indiana's Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, has been fitted with a 50-meter pool to host the meet that will determine the 2024 Paris Olympics roster.

All eyes will be on seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, who will be competing in the 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter, and 1500-meter freestyle — all events in which she’s been an Olympic champion. 

Rival Ariarne Titmus had her trials last week, breaking the world record in the 200-meter freestyle. Ledecky’s 200 is intended to qualify her for the Olympic relay. Meanwhile stateside, Katie Grimes stands to be a challenger in the 1500-meter freestyle has already qualified for the Paris Olympics in the 10km open water event.

Other competitors of note include 47-year-old Gabrielle Rose, who stands to become the oldest US Swimming Olympic qualifier in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke.

Additionally, Kate Douglass — an NCAA and World Champion — is a favorite to make her first Olympic team in the 200-meter IM and 200-meter breaststroke. Simone Manuel, an Olympic champion in the 100-meter freestyle, is also looking to make her third-straight Olympics.

Where to watch: The Trials will be streaming all week on Peacock, with later qualifying heats airing live on USA Network and event finals airing in primetime on NBC.

Orlando and Kansas City Shoot for 13 in NWSL Weekend Action

NWSL's T. Chawinga #6 of the Kansas City Current passes the ball during the first half of their game against the Utah Royals FC
The Kansas City Current hopes to extend its NWSL unbeaten streak to 13 with a win over Chicago. (Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

The 13th match weekend is fast approaching in the NWSL, with two season-long unbeaten streaks on the line.

League-leaders Kansas City and Orlando will attempt to survive the weekend with their unbeaten runs intact, as the Current host Chicago on Friday and the Pride travel to North Carolina for Saturday's match.

But while Kansas City and Orlando have been the gold standard this year, they're still a number of wins away from tying Washington's record for longest unbeaten streak in a single NWSL season. In 2021, the Spirit went 20 games without a loss en route to the club's first NWSL championship.

Both Gotham and Louisville are carrying momentum into their matchup on Saturday. Louisville is unbeaten in three games, and they’re looking to finally leapfrog Chicago and claim sixth place in the league standings. Gotham, on a seven-game unbeaten run, is into fifth place.

Portland and Seattle will face off in the Cascadia Clash this weekend, with Golden Boot contender Sophia Smith absent, as the decorated forward was shown a red card last weekend for time-wasting on the bench.

The Reign could use a win against their long-time rivals, as a difficult start has 13th-place Seattle registering only two wins amid nine losses so far this season.

Elsewhere in the league, 2024 expansion teams Bay FC and Utah meet for the first time this weekend, as both look to rise from the bottom half of the standings. And Washington will ride a four-game winning streak into Saturday's game against a San Diego side that's earned two hard-fought draws in recent weeks.

Watch more: "Sophia Smith is INNOCENT!" on The Late Sub with Claire Watkins

WNBA All-Star Voting Starts on June 13th

Phoenix Mercury mascot Scorch waving a 2024 WNBA All-Star flag at a 2023 home game.
Phoenix Mercury will host the 20th-annual All-Star Game on July 20th, 2024. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Voting for the 2024 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game opened at 2 PM ET today and runs through June 29th.

All active WNBA players are eligible to make the All-Star Game, set for July 20th in Phoenix. Unlike previous formats that featured two voted-in All-Star squads, this year’s contest pits a single All-Star team against the already-decided Olympic-bound USA Women’s National Team.

Fans can submit a daily ballot nominating up to 10 athletes via WNBA.com or the WNBA App.

Fan-submitted ballots account for 50% of vote, with the other 50% split equally between current WNBA players and members of the media. The top 10 athletes will automatically make the All-Star Game, with league coaches then voting from a pool of the next 36 to complete Team WNBA’s 12-player roster. The final lineup will be announced on July 2nd.

This year's All-Star Game format presents an opportunity for fans to vote for players they might consider Olympic snubs. Indiana rookie Caitlin Clark and Dallas’s Arike Ogunbawole seem like shoo-ins given the discussion surrounding their Olympic omissions, while Connecticut stars Brionna Jones and DeWanna Bonner are also expected to snag All-Star nods.

And after a career-high 20-point, 10-rebound double-double in last night’s 83-75 loss to the Sun, Chicago rookie Angel Reese could also secure a spot.

Regardless, it won't necessarily be smooth sailing for Team USA, as history has tended to favor the underdog. 

The first USA vs. All-Stars matchup took place in 2021, with the league’s squad humbling the Tokyo Olympians 93-85. With 26 points, Ogunbawole was named All-Star Game MVP after barely missing the Olympic cut. Could she and Clark turn the tables on Team USA this year?

Watch more: "Were Caitlin Clark and Arike Ogunbowale snubbed?" by Expert Adjacent

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