Former Oklahoma slugger Jocelyn Alo has signed on with Athletes Unlimited and will compete in the AU Pro Softball AUX this June.

The NCAA record holder in career home runs (122), total bases (761), and slugging percentage (.987), Alo was originally drafted by the league in 2022 but opted instead to join the newly debuted Women’s Professional Fastpitch

Alo currently plays for independent pro softball team Oklahoma City Spark, with team owner Tina Floyd reportedly on board with her recent AUX signing. AUX games are scheduled for June 10-25, while the Spark's season will kick off June 19th. Alo will play for both. 

Among those joining Alo on the AUX roster are former James Madison ace pitcher Odicci Alexander and former Wichita State standout middle infielder Sydney McKinney.

According to Alo, the decision to play in the Athletes Unlimited league was fueled by her desire to propel women's sports forward as well as provide more exposure to a sport that's given her "so many opportunities."

"Not only to challenge myself more, but just for the growth of the game," Alo said, explaining her reasoning to The Oklahoman. "I genuinely believe that professional softball can be a career for girls."

Joining AUX is also one more step in her plan toward representing Team USA at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

"I’m constantly thinking about how can I do these little things right in these four years to prepare me for the biggest stage of softball," she told The Oklahoman. "I definitely want to play in the Olympics, for sure."

Alo further expressed enthusiasm in the hope that the rise of other women’s sports, like women’s basketball and the NWSL, will push softball’s professional viability even higher.

"We’re seeing the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) get their stuff going, I see the WNBA starting to get hot," she continued. "I feel like the softball community is like, 'All right, it’s our turn and it’s our turn to just demand more.'"

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.

NaLyssa Smith delivered a record-breaking performance in the Athletes Unlimited (AU) season finale on Saturday to be crowned 2023 champion. Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft, dropped 50 points (a new AU single-game record) to secure her place at the top of the leaderboard.

Competing in the second ever Athletes Unlimited basketball season, the Indiana Fever forward also set records for most rebounds in a season (184), most double-doubles in a season (12), and most leaderboard points in a single game (863, achieved during Saturday’s season finale).

“Every team I was on, they were so supportive of me. They helped me achieve every goal I wanted this year … I’ve been in second in everything… just winning this it means everything,” Smith said in an AU release.

2023 Athletes Unlimited Basketball — Top 10 Athletes

  1. NaLyssa Smith
  2. Naz Hillmon
  3. Odyssey Sims
  4. Allisha Gray
  5. Jordin Canada
  6. Isabelle Harrison
  7. Crystal Bradford
  8. Lexie Hull
  9. Kelsey Mitchell
  10. Kierstan Bell

As the second season of Athletes Unlimited basketball begins, its players want to set the record straight: AU is not just a feeder for the WNBA.

Sydney Colson serves as the chair of the player executive committee for Athletes Unlimited and also plays for the Las Vegas Aces. And ahead of AU’s opening night Thursday, the 33-year-old guard pushed back at the notion that the league could become the WNBA’s version of the NBA G League.

“The WNBA and AU are completely separate,” she said Tuesday. “By no means are we trying to make this a G League. It’s not a mini WNBA.”

While there is some crossover between the two leagues, as a number of players have opted to join Athletes Unlimited during the WNBA offseason, Colson said the goal is to expand the player pool.

“This is to give more women opportunities to play in the States, not just the same women,” she said. “It’s very important to us as a [committee] to not turn this into just another league for WNBA players to come in and overtake.

“There are a lot of capable overseas athletes who aren’t afforded the opportunity to come and play in the WNBA, to ever get on a training camp roster, to be on a team. So for us, it is very important to our core of this league to keep it that way and to always give more people opportunities.”

That doesn’t mean AU doesn’t have any support from the WNBA. This year’s hoops season will be streamed on WNBA League Pass, which Colson called a “big deal” that “speaks to the support of this league.”

But most importantly, the talent this year has grown, as evidenced by the league’s scrimmages last week.

“We just have way more depth in our talent from top to bottom,” Colson said.

The second season of Athletes Unlimited basketball will feature Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud, Atlanta Dream guard Allisha Gray, Chicago Sky newcomers Isabelle Harrison and Courtney Williams and more star power.

When it comes to women’s lacrosse, Michele DeJuliis has seen it all. 

An All-American at Penn State, she helped the US women’s national lacrosse team win gold at the 2009 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup, having been a part of the program since 1994. A 2013 inductee to the US National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, she served as the commissioner of the United Women’s Lacrosse League before founding and guiding the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League, which had just signed a major sponsorship deal with Nike before it was forced to fold in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

After decades of fighting for the future of her sport, watching the WPLL fold was hard and emotional for DeJuliis. But after talking with Jon Patricof and Jonathan Soros, the Co-Founders of Athletes Unlimited, DeJuliis felt confident in the direction of professional women’s lacrosse. 

As one door closed, another opened, with DeJuliis immediately pivoting to partner with the upstart league. 

“As emotional as it was for me, it was the right decision for the women that play our game,” she says. “Knowing that Jon and Jonathan have a serious passion for giving women’s sports the opportunity to be in the spotlight.

“They don’t leave a stone unturned.”


DeJuliis’ drive to grow the game of lacrosse is bone-deep. It’s what first inspired her to start Ultimate Goal Lacrosse 20 years ago. It’s what allowed her to persevere through the ups and downs and arrive at her current role as Senior Director at Athletes Unlimited. And it’s what helps her to know that Athletes Unlimited has the power to grow the sport.

Having led Ultimate Goal Lacrosse for so long, she knows not only the value of developing kids early, but also for those kids to see their sport on TV.

“It’s all the opportunities that we would have wanted in the WPLL and [Patricof and Soros] having the resources to do it,” she says. “To have our sport, as long as the major impact people in our sport have been trying for years, especially at the collegiate level to get our sport on TV. And to have that now?”

DeJuliis knows that visibility matters. And with Athletes Unlimited games airing on CBS Sports Network and FS1, as well as being streamed on Facebook and YouTube, the sport of women’s lacrosse has never had so much concentrated exposure. 

“What I love about it is that we’re able to be in so many homes across the U.S. Hopefully those people are sports freaks, or just love to watch whatever sport they can on TV, and they’re catching our games.”

DeJuliis credits the people within the organization for having the vision and teamwork needed to bring lacrosse to the next level. 

“It takes a team and everybody within the AU community is all in, nobody has egos,” she says. “This is about getting a job done. Everybody is working so hard to make sure that these women have a great experience.”

Part of creating that experience has meant making the game faster. 

The Athletes Unlimited shot clock is 60 seconds, compared to the NCAA’s 90. The field is shorter and skinnier, only 95 yards by 60 yards as compared to the NCAA’s 120 yards by 75 yards. The rosters are also smaller, something that Athletes Unlimited says attracts “complete athletes” who are capable of playing both ends of the field.

These changes weren’t just made to speed the game up. The smaller rosters are also part of a larger campaign to make lacrosse more accessible and increase the chances of the sport’s inclusion at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Angie Benson makes a save on Cortney Fortunato (Athletes Unlimited)

The sport’s Olympic goal took a monumental step forward on July 20, when the International Olympic Committee voted to grant World Lacrosse, the international federation for lacrosse, full recognition.

The decision was exciting, if not surprising for DeJuliis. 

“I think it will happen,” she says. “It’s just a matter of time. You just have to remain hopeful and do whatever you can to support the Olympic dream.”

While Athletes Unlimited’s first priority is developing a sustainable professional league, those within the organization understand that they’re fighting for the future of the sport as a whole, and that Olympic inclusion would be downright game-changing. 

For DeJuliis, the best thing AU can do is showcase the sport at its best. 

“I hope that the Olympics, anybody that’s involved in that committee, can see what we’ve got displayed here and say, ‘this is something that we gotta have’,” she continued.

Adjusting the field and roster sizes may have been difficult for athletes and organizers, but it, too, will help in getting lacrosse to LA.

In order for a sport to be included in the Olympics, it needs to have international participation from at least 40 countries on three different continents. Having smaller roster sizes makes it easier to get more countries on board. The fewer people per team, the more affordable it is for countries to sponsor and train.

“There’s so much opportunity,” DeJuliis says. “Anybody that can now dedicate time and money, the sizing of this it’s just more manageable.

“I can only imagine that countries that start picking it up, we’ll see a huge jump in their growth… [and] their ability to actually perform and be competitive in World Lacrosse.”

At the last Women’s Lacrosse World Championships in 2019, 22 countries participated. Nine of them were new to the tournament. But even during a COVID year, World Lacrosse has only continued to grow, as was made evident by the IOC’s recognition. 

“I think [World Lacrosse] has made tremendous progress from where we were two years ago to now, having that recognition is unbelievable,” she says.

Even with all of the Olympics discussion, the scheduling of the Athletes Unlimited to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics was purely coincidence. Ultimately, it was what worked for some of the players to be able to compete while also focusing on the World Cup or coaching collegiately. 

At the same time, as people are plugged into a summer of sports, Athletes Unlimited gives fans a reason to keep the TV on, during and even after the Olympics conclude. 

“I think that with all that goes on in our world, especially with all of the things everybody’s been through, this is something that people need,” she says. “It’s just another opportunity to see another cool sport that is being showcased.

“Hopefully they flip on a channel and they watch for 10 seconds and they’re like, ‘I gotta keep watching’.”

Watch now, watch next year, and there’s a good chance you’ll be watching in 2028 as well.

Editor’s note: Athletes Unlimited is a sponsor of Just Women’s Sports.

The first weekend of Athletes Unlimited’s inaugural lacrosse season is officially in the books.

The newly minted professional league is the third under the Athletes Unlimited’s umbrella, after they previously debuted similar leagues for softball and volleyball.

Now, it’s lacrosse’s turn.

For five weeks, the world’s best lacrosse players are all in the Metro DC area at Maureen Hendricks Field competing to be the first Athletes Unlimited champion.

After the first weekend of action, here are three players to keep an eye on heading into week two:

Kayla Wood, Defender

“Kayla Wood is my new favorite person,” team captain Kylie Ohlmiller said over the weekend. “And you can quote me on that.”

Wood had a monster weekend, putting up a league-leading 501 points, 90 of which came from being named game MVP in two of her three competitions.

A crafty defender fresh off of North Carolina’s Final Four run, Wood has reaped the benefits of AU’s custom points system. Built to reward defenders appropriately, the system allows players to earn individual points which go beyond just goals and assists.

Wood racked up her points on caused turnovers (36) and draw control (20), while also earning 335 points for both periods won and games won.

As a team captain this week, Wood had the opportunity to draft her own team. For her to stay atop the leaderboard, she’ll need to keep winning both periods and games, meaning her team-selection abilities as well as her defensive skills will be put to the test this weekend.

Marie McCool, Midfielder

Asked who she would draft if given the choice, lacrosse legend Taylor Cummings said Marie McCool. After the first weekend, it’s easy to see why.

Like Wood, McCool also racked up MVP points (60), with one first place and one third place MVP finish. At home in the midfield, she wasted no time raking in the goals, scoring six to go along with two assists. Included was the first two-point goal in the history of Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse, which earned the midfielder an additional 16 points.

Through the first weekend of action, McCool is tied with Halle Majorana for third in goals scored, one behind Taylor Cummings and four behind Kayla Treanor.

Sitting 17th on the leaderboard with 315 points, expect McCool to climb the rankings with another strong performance this weekend.

Kenzie Kent, Attack

A two-sport athlete in ice hockey and lacrosse at Boston College, Kent had a decorated college career on both the field and the ice. She played in five Final Fours — including two in lacrosse — and was named the ACC Athlete of the Year during the 2016-17 season. She was drafted fourth overall by the Boston Pride in the 2017 NWHL Draft but opted to return to lacrosse after a year away.

Now, she’s with AU and already making a splash.

Kent had a particularly great second game, wracking up 139 total points, including scoring two goals for 24 points.

She has the power to continue to be a factor on offense. During her time at Boston College she wracked up 131 goals, including 52 in her final season — despite having taken a year off to pursue hockey. Additionally, Kent is just as prolific an assister as she is a scorer, having tallied 133 assists during her college years.

Tune in: Team Wood, featuring Kenzie Kent, will begin the second weekend of play against Team Treanor on Friday, July 30 at 5 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.

Editor’s note: Athletes Unlimited is a sponsor of Just Women’s Sports.

For Taylor Cummings, the upcoming Athletes Unlimited lacrosse season is both the culmination of a winding professional journey and a departure from everything she’s done before. 

Widely regarded as one of the best lacrosse players of all time, Cummings has excelled at every level of the sport. At Maryland, she was a three-time Tewaaraton Award winner as the nation’s best player (the only three-time winner ever, female or male). She won two national championships with the Terps, has already played in two professional leagues — the United Women’s Lacrosse League and the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League — and has long been a staple of Team USA.

But now she’s ready for a new challenge — a single-site, five-week season in which the teams change every week. With Athletes Unlimited, players earn individual points, and the top four each week are in charge of drafting their respective teams. At the end of the season, the top overall point scorer is crowned the season’s champion.

“So many of us are used to playing with a college team year-round, or a U.S. Team, or even a professional team,” Cummings said. “So that aspect will be different.”

For Cummings and others, Athlete Unlimited’s format isn’t just different — it could also be the future.

Last August, the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) was forced to fold due to economic hardships caused by COVID-19. The league had previously announced a major sponsorship deal with Nike, but with the 2020 season cancelled, was unable to forge on.

Cummings, who had been drafted in the inaugural WPLL draft, was serving on the board at the time.

Almost immediately, rumors started swirling that Athletes Unlimited was in the process of launching its own professional lacrosse league after successfully debuting similar leagues for softball and volleyball.

As soon as the possibility was brought to her attention, Cummings knew it was something she needed to consider. She talked with U.S. teammates and longtime friends Kayla Treanor and Michelle Tumolo, who both serve on AU’s player executive committee, and figured out whether it would fit into her schedule before deciding to sign on for the season.

“It was another opportunity for a shift from the WPLL to something a little different,” she said. “But still very much a professional women’s lacrosse league.”

Cummings knew that AU’s television exposure would draw more eyes to women’s lacrosse. Despite being one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, professional women’s lacrosse has had a hard time finding its footing, in large part due to a lack of visibility and consistent coverage.

“Many of us play not only because we enjoy it, but because we want to help the next generation of players play and have things better than we do right now,” Cummings said. 

“Athletes Unlimited is a great opportunity to get a lot of eyes on our sport — to continue to grow the game at the professional level and inspire that next generation to be able to play and compete at a level as high as ours or even higher.”

Of course, this season’s location helps in that mission. The five-week season will all take place at Maureen Hendricks Field in the Metro DC area.

“We’re playing in a place where the lacrosse history is really rich,” Cummings said. “The lacrosse passion is really deep in Maryland, and to have eyes on that through this league is going to be a great opportunity.”

One of the things that Cummings is looking forward to most is being back on the field with some familiar faces. For many of the players who didn’t have a college season to break up the pandemic, this will serve as their first live action in months, aside from a couple of training weekends this summer for the U.S. team.

Whether it’s been shooting or dodging, running or lifting, Cummings has spent most of the last year and a half training alone. And now in the middle of a tryout year for the 2022 World Cup, Cummings is looking at the Athletes Unlimited season as a necessary opportunity to train and prepare.

“We haven’t really played against live bodies and actually played against other people in a long time,” she said. “Any opportunity to compete against the caliber of teams that we’re competing against on a regular basis now, when we’re in for these five weeks, is going to be awesome.”

During the season, teams will typically play three games per week and drafts will be held every Monday.

“For us to be able to play more lacrosse in five weeks than we have since many of us graduated college is awesome and something that we really are looking forward to,” Cummings said.

“The rules in AU definitely lend themselves to showcasing a really high-level game that we as professionals want to play.”

Athletes Unlimited’s format will consist of eight-minute quarters, 10-on-10 game play and a 60-second shot clock, all played on a field that’s 60 yards in width and 90 yards in length. To Cummings, the fast-paced format and up-and-down style will be lacrosse in its purest form. 

At the same time, the individual focus of Athletes Unlimited will be a major departure for athletes who are used to playing out full seasons on a single team. Cummings isn’t as worried.

“There is a sense of comfort in knowing that most of the people that are in the pool are all people that we’ve played with and against,” she said, adding that it removes an element of the unknown.

“You know how players play and what they’re like. It can help whoever is drafting build teams with a little bit more strategy.”

If Cummings gets the opportunity to be a captain and draft a team, she will be looking to the midfield as an area that needs strength.

“Being a middy, that’s something that I think is really important to the game, is having as many (midfielders) as possible,” she said.

And who would she pick first? “Somebody like Marie McCool or Dempsey Arsenault, who are both really strong, two-way midfielders,” Cummings said.

“I’d be lucky to have anyone in the pool if I’m a captain, but if I had to pick one, I’d say either of those two.”

Catch Cummings, McCool, Arsenault and others as Athletes Unlimited’s inaugural lacrosse season opens Friday. You can find the full schedule here, including how to watch.

Editor’s note: Athletes Unlimited is a sponsor of Just Women’s Sports.

Athletes Unlimited has announced a partnership with the Topps Company to create a women’s professional lacrosse trading card set, the two companies announced Wednesday.

It’s the first time in Topps’ 83-year history that they will be making trading cards for women’s lacrosse. 

Set to commemorate the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse season, the set will be on sale from July 21 through August 27, available online at the Topps website.

Included in the set are Athletes Unlimited players, current U.S. National Team members and reigning world champions Taylor Cummings, Meg Douty, Marie McCool, Kylie Ohlmiller and Kayla Treanor. 


“We are honored to be the first professional lacrosse players to be immortalized with the first set of trading cards by Topps,” Amber Mackenzie, player and member of the Lacrosse Player Executive Committee, said in a release. “Our inaugural trading card set is just another way for us to connect with our fans and grow interest in our sport.”

There are 62 total cards in the set. In addition to 56 player cards featuring all 56 athletes participating in the league, there are six league/promo cards featured in the set. A limited-edition run, the set will not be printed again. 

In addition to individual player and themed cards, Nike will be sponsoring special Nike Golden Ticket cards that will be randomly included in select boxed sets as a result of the partnership between the three companies. The Nike Golden Ticket will be redeemable for an exclusive merchandise package that include official Athletes Unlimited gear and other Nike products.

Athletes Unlimited’s inaugural lacrosse season is set to kick off Friday, July 23.

Odicci Alexander is taking her talents to the next level, signing with Athletes Unlimited for the 2021 season.

The James Madison University pitcher captured national attention when she led the school on a storied run in the Women’s College World Series.

Now Alexander will join the likes of Ali Aguilar and Kelsey Stewart in Athletes Unlimited’s 60-player roster. The competition begins August 28 in Rosemont, Illinois, and runs through September 27 at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex.

Athletes Unlimited lacrosse has a new sponsor. 

With less than 50 days until the start of its inaugural lacrosse season, the professional sports league announced a multi-year partnership with Nike Lacrosse. 

Nike Lacrosse will now be the official supplier of uniforms, footwear, sticks and protective equipment for Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse. Coaches, staff and volunteers will also receive apparel and footwear as part of the agreement.

Additionally, Nike Lacrosse will also support Athletes Unlimited Futures, a program for elite middle and high school athletes “aimed at cultivating and connecting today’s young female lacrosse players.” 

The inaugural lacrosse season is set to take place at Maureen Hendricks Field in the Washington, D.C. metro area from July 23-August 22 featuring 56 of the sport’s top athletes.