Chelsea Gray made her return to the basketball court on Wednesday, helping the Aces to a 94-83 win over the Seattle Storm. 

The lauded point guard missed the first 12 games of the season, having been injured in last year’s WNBA Finals. The left foot injury caused her to miss Game 4 of the championship series, and she’s continued to rehab it through the beginning of the 2024 season. 

Her return on Wednesday was capitalized by the fact that she needed just 20 seconds to make an impact and record her first assist. While she finished with just one point, she had seven assists, four rebounds, and two blocks to go alongside it in 15:30 minutes. Gray's contributions on the night brought her career assist record up to 1,500.

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"I probably went through every emotion leading up to today," Gray said after the game. "I was a little anxious all day. It's been a long time since I've been out on that court. But the fans were amazing from the time I came out to warm up to the time I checked in the game. It was a rush and a feeling I missed a lot."

It’s been a roller coaster of a season so far for Las Vegas, who have lost five of their last seven games. Gray, who averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in 2023, has proven herself a much-needed addition to the team’s lineup.

"Felt like my heart," Aces coach Becky Hammon said when asked how she felt hearing the crowd erupt for Gray's return. "She's the leader of our team. I thought she did a wonderful job too."

WNBA icon Skylar Diggins-Smith and Just Women’s Sports announced Wednesday that they are partnering on a new premium content series re-examining some of the most important stories in the history of women’s sports. 

Diggins-Smith, who just began her first season with the Seattle Storm, and JWS are developing the docuseries as a way to bridge the past and present while bringing more authentic storytelling to the women’s sports space. The six-episode series will examine how each narrative impacted the way female athletes are treated and discussed in the media today. 

For the six-time WNBA All-Star and Notre Dame legend, the partnership provides a chance to elevate the discourse around women’s sports. 

"Women’s sports are breaking into the mainstream in a major way, but some of the most compelling stories have not been told in a way that’s authentic, impactful, and real," said Diggins-Smith. 

While at Notre Dame, Skylar Diggins-Smith led the Fighting Irish to three NCAA Final Fours. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

A nine-year WNBA vet, Diggins-Smith first achieved national celebrity while in college, when she led Notre Dame to three Final Fours. She was the first female athlete to be signed to Roc Nation and is still represented by the agency today. While she has appeared in a number of high-profile commercials, productions, and brand campaigns throughout her professional career, this will be her first time leading a premium content series. 

Diggins-Smith chose to partner with Just Women’s Sports because of the brand’s approach to women’s sports coverage and its success at growing and engaging a digital-first audience. 

"Just Women’s Sports is the perfect partner for this project because they understand what makes women athletes unique," she said. "They’re a brand that celebrates every part of the game, and they talk about sports in a way that resonates with fans and the professional athletes in this space."

Just Women’s Sports is one of the fastest-growing and most engaged media platforms in sports, having started as an Instagram account in 2020 before expanding into a multi-platform brand reaching 80 million fans per month. The company has produced a number of podcasts and digital series — including the award-winning 91st, an in-studio show covering last summer’s Women's World Cup hosted by Midge Purce and Katie Nolan — but this will be JWS’s first premium content offering. 

"There is a growing hunger for authentic women’s sports content that lets fans go beneath the surface and see the full picture," said Just Women’s Sports CEO and founder Haley Rosen. "So much of our focus these last few years has been around turning female athletes into household names. Now that the awareness is there, it’s time to level up and tell more complicated and compelling stories that speak to both die-hard and casual fans." 

Fans can expect a formal announcement detailing the stories featured in the series following the conclusion of this season's WNBA and NWSL Championships. 

Seattle rookie Nika Mühl made her long awaited WNBA debut in last night’s 85-83 win over Indiana after missing the first four games of the season due to visa issues. 

A Croatian national, Mühl had been waiting on P-1 visa approval in order to work legally in the US. While the paperwork came through Friday, she had to travel to Canada in order to get her status changed.

The former UConn star poked fun at the delay ahead of the game, walking into Climate Pledge Arena wearing a t-shirt displaying her approved visa.

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Mühl checked into the game on Monday in the third period to a standing ovation, immediately diving over the baseline to save a loose ball. She spent her first few minutes of the game the same way she completed her career at UConn: guarding Caitlin Clark

Mühl, who had two rebounds in two and a half minutes, held Clark to five points, a rebound, and a turnover when the two were matched up. 

"I threw her in the fire," Storm coach Noelle Quinn said with a smile after the game. "It’s tough to come into the game at that rate and think that you’re going to stop the player, but I like… her physicality, her poise, her confidence. She took an open shot and I thought that was a great look for her. We’ll continue to put her in the mix in practice, and she’ll have opportunities to show what she can do on the defensive end to start."

An instant fan favorite, the UConn star donned the No. 1 jersey — in part because her usual No. 10 was retired by Seattle after Sue Bird, who wore it for her entire WNBA career, retired last year. Mühl's new number was chosen by none other than Bird herself. 

"I actually FaceTimed Sue and asked her what number I should wear. She took a day to think about it and came back to me with an answer of No. 1," Muhl said in a WNBA video posted to social media. "When I asked her why No. 1, she basically said 'This is a new beginning, but you’re not starting from scratch.' I loved that whole analogy and story, so Sue actually picked it and I love it."

The New York Liberty are 4-0 on the season for the first time since 2007. 

The 2023 WNBA title finalists notched a 74-63 win over Seattle on Monday night, with Sabrina Ionescu dropping 20 points alongside eight assists. After the game, Ionescu told reporters she thought the team was coming together a bit easier than they did last year.

"I think having a year together, we don't nearly have to communicate as much on the court anymore," she said. "Because we can just play off one another and read. And that's obviously been the growth of this team, is being able to play a season together last year."

The team’s defense has also contributed heavily to the season's winning start. Last night, the Liberty held Jewell Loyd to just 13 points and nine rebounds. Loyd let the Storm in scoring, with only two other players in double digits, while Nneka Ogwumike missed her second straight game with an ankle injury. 

Storm free agency acquisition Skylar Diggins-Smith had eight points, and is averaging 14.5 points and 5.8 assists per game this season. In her postgame remarks, Storm head coach Noelle Quinn called on others to give her grace in her return. 

"There needs to be respect about the fact that she's had two children and hasn’t played in 20 months," said Quinn. "She’s not going to come overnight and be who she was 20 months ago and we have to respect that and honor that. And I do.

"My grace as a coach is to know she’s working her butt off every day. You guys don’t see it. Every single day. Two children. Not one, two. Not many can do that."

Teams around the WNBA are under pressure to finalize their 12-player rosters before Monday's league-enforced deadline.

Teams must cut their 2024 rosters down to just 12 spots from as many as 18 training camp players. And while this year’s WNBA draft class is undoubtedly rife with talent, only 18 draftees remain rostered ahead of Monday's final cuts. Last year, just 15 of the league’s 36 draftees made it onto their team’s opening-day squad. 

And it's not just rookies. Veteran players are also on the chopping block, even former title-winners: On Thursday, the Minnesota Lynx waived 2021 WNBA champ Ruthy Hebard.

But with every wave of cuts, players that survive dismissal inch closer to claiming a coveted roster spot. The Las Vegas Aces have already reached that magic number 12, opening the door for draft picks Dyaisha Fair and Kate Martin to stay on with the reigning champs.

Additionally, Dallas has whittled their training camp group down to 12. Fifth overall pick Jacy Sheldon and undrafted rookie Jaelyn Brown continue to remain in the mix. 

Other teams, meanwhile, still have decisions to make. Seattle currently lists 13 players, while others like New York still have a full 18 players in training camp. It’s likely that the final preseason game will tip roster decisions one way or another as coaching staffs continue to evaluate performance and playing time. 

But being cut doesn't mean the end of the road for everyone. Should players be waived, they can still be signed to short-term hardship contracts with teams carrying injured players on their permanent rosters. 

The 2024 WNBA season kicks off on Tuesday, May 14th.

The four-time league champion Seattle Storm unveiled their new practice facility on Thursday, with Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel dubbing Interbay's Seattle Storm Center for Basketball Performance the team’s "new home."

"It's just such a special space," Brummel told Fox 13 Seattle. "I think when the players get here, it's gonna be overwhelming."

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot, $64 million property is just the second designated practice facility to be designed and built expressly for a WNBA team, with the Storm further noting that 85% of all design and engineering team members involved in the project's construction were women and people of color. The finished product holds two professional indoor courts, two 3x3 outdoor courts, a state-of-the-art locker room, and players' lounge, plus designated areas for strength and conditioning, kitchen, dining, and nutrition, and recovery. 

"This facility reflects our commitment to providing our athletes an exceptional environment that supports their growth, health, and performance," said Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder in an official team release. "It’s built for women, by women, embodying our dedication to leading the way in professional women’s sports."

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For their part, the team can't wait to make the faciilty their own.

"It's amazing," Storm guard Jewell Loyd told Fox 13. "Not having to drive everywhere around, knowing you have access anytime of the day to get into the gym, to workout." 

Head coach Noelle Quinn said she predicts the team is "never going to leave this building."

"Which is a good thing for me," she continued. "You talk about having an edge in performance. We want our athletes to not only perform on the court, but get whatever they need."

All of the Storm's staff and operations will now live under one roof, and the team also has plans to launch a youth basketball program operating out of the building.

The Indiana Fever hold the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft for the second consecutive year after again winning the draft lottery.

Following the Fever in the 2024 draft will be the Los Angeles Sparks (No. 2), Phoenix Mercury (No. 3) and Seattle Storm (No. 4).

No. 1 overall picks have a prolific history in the WNBA. Those players have won 38 championships, 13 MVPs and 124 All-Star selections, according to ESPN.

The Fever were represented at the draft lottery by 2023 top pick and WNBA rookie of the year Aliyah Boston. If Iowa star Caitlin Clark decides to go pro after her senior season, she and Boston on the same team could prove deadly for the rest of the league. 

“I think it’s just going to be another talented player that we can use to help build us to back to the franchise that the Fever was at, so I’m super excited for the upcoming draft,” Boston said to ESPN on the broadcast. 

Like many other players for the draft, Clark has some NCAA eligibility remaining, which could shake up draft predictions. Players have until March to declare for the draft — unless their team is in the NCAA tournament after the deadline, in which case players have until 48 hours after their final game to declare.

The draft is scheduled for April 15, 2024, and Just Women’s Sports has made early predictions for the lottery picks.

Sue Bird is welcoming fiancée Megan Rapinoe into retirement with open arms.

Rapinoe played in her final professional soccer game in Saturday’s 2023 NWSL Championship. The OL Reign star exited after just six minutes with a suspected Achilles injury in the 1-0 loss to Gotham FC, and her teammates and opponents alike called the turn of events “devastating” for the soccer legend.

“I just feel so gutted for her. Honestly, I never thought that would ever happen,” fellow retiree and Gotham captain Ali Krieger said. “And I feel so sad because you know football is such a risk, right? And you never know if it’s going to be your last game, your last moment.

“And to happen to such an incredible player, in that moment … It just is so sad and I feel for her and I’m gonna be there every step of the way for her recovery. … And I never wanted that to happen because I wanted to celebrate with her at the end.”

Bird, who has been in a relationship with Rapinoe since 2017, retired from professional basketball last year as one of the greatest players in WNBA history. In a post on Instagram Stories, the Seattle Storm great welcomed Rapinoe into retirement.

“Cheer to you, baby! To an unbelievable career, to all you’ve accomplished, and to all the lives you’ve impacted along the way,” she wrote. “It’s not how you wanted it to end. It’s not how any of us wanted it to end, but the truth is a legacy like yours has no ending.

“Even though you’re saying goodbye to the game, you’ll be saying hello to a whole lot more and that legacy will just continue to grow. Congratulations and welcome to retirement!! I’ve been waiting for you.”

The WNBA draft lottery will be held at 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 10, the league announced Tuesday.

The lottery, which will air on ESPN, will decide the top four picks for the 2024 WNBA draft. The 2024 draft class should be laden with talent, including Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and Paige Bueckers. But all three of those players hold at least one more year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could complicate the picture.

Teams’ lottery odds are determined via their combined records from the 2022 and 2023 WNBA seasons. The Indiana Fever, Phoenix Mercury, Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm are in the running for the No. 1 overall pick.

The Fever, who won the lottery for the first time in franchise history in 2023, have the best shot at the No. 1 pick again in 2024. With this year’s top pick, Indiana selected South Carolina star Aliyah Boston, who became the unanimous pick for WNBA Rookie of the Year.

2024 WNBA draft lottery: Team odds

  • Indiana Fever — 18-58 record — 44.2% chance at No. 1 pick
  • Phoenix Mercury — 24-52 — 27.6%
  • Los Angeles Sparks — 30-46 — 17.8%
  • Seattle Storm — 33-43 — 10.4%

Jewell Loyd is the all-time single-season scoring leader for the WNBA.

Last week, Breanna Stewart held the honor, as the New York Liberty star became the first of three players this season to surpass the previous mark. But on Sunday, Loyd finished at the top of the pack, scoring 939 points in 2023 compared to Stewart’s 919. And the Seattle Storm guard did it in 38 games to Stewart’s 40.

Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson also broke the previous record, set by Diana Taurasi, who scored 860 points in 2006, when the league played shorter seasons. Wilson scored 912 points in 40 games in 2023.

Loyd moved past Stewart in the Storm’s second-to-last game Friday. While Stewart moved ahead of her again in the Liberty’s final game Sunday, Loyd scored 28 points in the Storm’s season finale later that day to take the record. The 29-year-old guard needed nine points to beat out Stewart — and she reached that mark in the first four minutes of the game, nailing a three-pointer with 6:33 left in the first quarter to seal her place in league history.

“That wasn’t a goal of mine at all coming into the season,” Loyd said. “Even hearing about it and talking about it, it never was a goal of mine. It kind of just happened naturally. I think it’s pretty cool. What I miss, (two) games and still was able to produce the way I was producing, so that’s pretty cool.”

It was Loyd’s first game since signing a two-year supermax contract extension with Seattle, which she said Sunday was a result of her having no desire to become an unrestricted free agent.

“I didn’t have to think about it like seriously until a week ago,” Loyd said. “It’s kind of hard to make decisions while you’re in a season just because you’re not thinking about it. It takes a lot of energy and you have to focus in on what you’re going to do with your life.

“It didn’t feel like any pressure or I felt overwhelmed. At that same time, I understand the business and I knew kind of what I wanted. It was a feeling for me. At the end of the day it was a pretty easy decision.”

As Loyd moves forward with the Storm, and Stewart does the same with the Liberty, expect more records to fall. Stewart predicted as much after she broke Taurasi’s record last week.

“More games is more points,” Stewart said. “As we have 40-game seasons, and we continue to build off that, there’s going to be a lot of records that are broken.”