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 Women's National Basketball Association

Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
February 13, 2024 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)


This past week the Baltimore Blast announced it will host the first-ever outdoor game in Major Arena Soccer League history, the USL Super League received Division 1 sanctioning from the U.S. Soccer Federation, and the Women's National Basketball Association's Las Vegas Aces re-signed three-time WNBA champion and two-time league MVP Candace Parker. Highlights from this week come from the Major Arena Soccer League, USL Super League, Major League Soccer, National Women's Soccer League, Canadian Premier League, Women's National Basketball Association, NBA G League, Canadian Football League, United Football League, American Hockey League, SPHL, Professional Women's Hockey League, Western Hockey League, North American Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, United States Hockey League, National Lacrosse League, Atlantic League and Ultimate Frisbee Association.

SOCCER

Major Arena Soccer League

The Baltimore Blast will host the Blast Spring Classic at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, MD, on March 23, 2024. It will be the first-ever outdoor game in Major Arena Soccer League History. Baltimore will host the Dallas Sidekicks at 11 a.m., with gates opening at 10 a.m. Season ticket holders and sponsors will receive preferential seating. All other tickets will be general admission. "As far as I know, this is the very first indoor game to be played outdoors," Blast owner Ed Hale said. "The idea came from the NHL games played at outdoor stadiums like Soldier Field in Chicago and Yankee Stadium.It has been an idea that we have had for many years. The time is March 23, 2024, against the Dallas Sidekicks at 11 a.m. at Towson University's Unitas Football Stadium." Fans can either buy tickets for $15 each or $30 for a ticket and a special "Blast Spring Classic" T-shirt. There will also be regular Blast merchandise sold at the game.

MASL Ten for Ten - Keith Tozer

USL Super League

The USL Super League is thrilled to confirm today that it will compete at the highest level for professional women's soccer in the United States, following the U.S. Soccer Federation's approval of its Division One sanctioning application. This decision aligns with the league's commitment to the highest operational standards in bringing professional women's soccer closer to home for more players, more fans, and more communities across the United States. "This is a tremendous moment for the USL Super League and for women's sports," said USL Super League President Amanda Vandervort. "Receiving Division One sanctioning further showcases the work that our ownership groups, our clubs, and the league are doing to create a professional environment for top-level talent to compete. This is a crucial step toward realizing our vision to be a global leader in women's soccer on and off the field. We cannot wait to see our clubs take the field when we kick off in August 2024."

Bringing Division 1 Women's Soccer Closer to Home: Kicking off August 2024

Super League Brooklyn is part of the Brooklyn Football Club led by businessman Matt Rizzetta and CEO Mack Mansfield. The club will play their home matches at Maimonides Park in iconic Coney Island. We are thrilled to launch Super League Brooklyn, the first professional women's soccer team to play in Brooklyn. This marks a notable milestone for our club, our borough, and our city, as our USL Super League team will compete at the highest level of women's soccer and expand on our mission to empower players, coaches, and fans to grow the game in Brooklyn.

Major League Soccer

In this video we're taking a look at all the stadiums and teams for the 2024 Major League Soccer season. Ordered by capacity, you will learn the name of the stadium, the team, the capacity and the year it opened. You will see each ground from the air and from the stands. What is your favourite MLS stadium?

National Women's Soccer League

The Chicago Red Stars have named Richard Feuz as the team's next general manager to complete a brand-new leadership team in guiding the Red Stars into an exciting era. Feuz joins the Red Stars from Switzerland's Servette Football Club, where he served as the chief executive officer of the club since 2020. "Richard has a proven record in building championship-level organizations, having led the Servette Football Club through years of success on and off the pitch," said Red Stars Executive Chairperson Laura Ricketts. "His experience will be invaluable as we begin this new chapter for the Chicago Red Stars."

The Morning Footy crew are pleased to be joined by North Carolina Courage's Ashley Sanchez to discuss her recent trade to the club as well as her expectations for the upcoming 2024 season.

The Attacking Third crew reacts to Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang's purchase of OL Féminin and the impact she will make in charge.

Canadian Premier League

FIFA World Cup 2026 Schedule Reaction.

Kristian Jack looks at what we now know & what we should expect to come following the schedule announcement.

BASKETBALL

Women's National Basketball Association

Las Vegas Aces general manager Natalie Williams announced that the team has re-signed three-time WNBA champion and two-time league MVP Candace Parker. "I am honored to announce that we have re-signed one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Candace Parker. Her leadership and court presence are invaluable to our team. We look forward to having her incredible skill set and contagious energy back on the floor," said Williams. "I'm looking forward to continuing to play the game I love while competing alongside my teammates and coaches. My family and I are excited to be back in Las Vegas and ready for another great season," said Parker.

The Los Angeles Sparks announced that Lexie Brown has signed a two-year contract extension. In her second season with the Sparks last year, she averaged 12.4 points, 2.4 assists and shot 41.5 percent from three-point range. "This is such a surreal moment for me. Anyone familiar with my career knows that it hasn't always been easy and finding a home with the Sparks organization has been such a blessing," said Brown. "They have allowed me to be myself and walk in my light since day one. I'm really excited for the future and being a veteran leader of this super talented team. I can't thank everyone in the organization enough for believing in me and supporting me. This is an opportunity that I've been waiting for and working so hard for."

NBA G League

Top 10 Plays Of The Week

Top Dunks Of The Month - January 2024

BIG3

The BIG3, the global 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, today announced that Mark King, a veteran executive in the sports and apparel industry, will join the BIG3 as the Chairman of the Board. This strategic leadership addition comes as the league prepares for its seventh season tipping off on Saturday, June 15 on CBS. "Mark's true passion for sports, aptitude for success, and belief in the BIG3 as a premier global league makes him an exciting addition to our team,"' said Ice Cube, BIG3 CEO and co-founder. "Mark understands what this league is all about and believes in what we are building. Through our conversations, it's clear that Mark is an exceptional person as well as an executive superstar, and his wanting to become our chairman lets the world know that the BIG3 is headed in the right direction."'

FOOTBALL

Canadian Football League

The BC Lions announced the signing of American running back William Stanback to a one-year contract. Stanback, 29, moves to the West Coast after five years with the Montreal Alouettes where he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on two occasions while also earning CFL and East Division All-Star nods in both 2019 and 2021. Stanback was also the East nominee for CFL Most Outstanding Player in the 2021 campaign after leading the CFL with 1,176 rushing yards.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announce the club has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with all-star running back Brady Oliveira. Oliveira (5-10, 222; North Dakota; born: August 15, 1997, in Winnipeg, MB) returns to the Blue Bombers for a fifth season after being originally selected by the club in the second round, 14th overall, in the 2019 CFL Draft. In 2023, Oliveira was named the Canadian Football League's Most Outstanding Canadian Player and a runner up for the Most Outstanding Player Award while also being selected as a CFL and West Division All-Star.

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club announced today they have signed American WR Jeff Badet. Badet, 29, most recently spent time with the Vegas Vipers of the XFL where he caught 34 passes for 448 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games, all of which led the team. The 5'11, 183lb receiver played with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL in 2022 and spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. 2020 saw the Florida native suit up for five games in the XFL where he caught 16 passes for 108 yards and four touchdowns before signing with the Washington Commanders, playing in three games for the NFC East team.

We looked at the two CFL stadiums selected for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as well as debated which other CFL stadiums would have been good options to host the world.

United Football League

Major United Football League Rules Are Out!

Indoor Football League

The Jacksonville Sharks are proud to announce that Charlie Hunt will serve as the Offensive Coordinator for the 2024 season. Hunt is entering his seventh year on the Sharks coaching staff. He served three seasons as the player personnel/ special teams coach, in 2022 he was the offensive assistant, and last year as the wide receivers coach. This year, he will be stepping into his new role as Offensive Coordinator. "Charlie is an outstanding coach," Head Coach Jason Gibson said. "His background as a player and more recently as a coach here in Jacksonville makes him vital to our success."

HOCKEY

American Hockey League

Ontario Reign rookie Brandt Clarke and Colorado Eagles forward Riley Tufteled the Western Conference to an 18-13 win in the 2024 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at Tech CU Arena.

Highlights from the 2024 American Hockey League All-Star Challenge in San Jose, California

Professional Women's Hockey League

The Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) will conduct "PWHL Takeover Weekend" March 16-17, playing three games in NHL venues across the two days. The announcement is made in partnership with the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, with a schedule that includes PWHL Ottawa and PWHL Boston to play at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday, March 16, at 6:00 p.m. ET, and PWHL Toronto and PWHL Montréal to play at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday, March 17, at 12:30 p.m. ET. PWHL New York and PWHL Minnesota will play at Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, on Saturday March 16 at 3:30 p.m. ET, announced as part of the league's regular-season schedule launch. "Bringing these games to three outstanding venues during Women's History Month will create an unforgettable highlight of this inaugural PWHL season," said Jayna Hefford, PWHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. "For fans attending these games and players who are competing on the ice, this will be a great celebration of the advancement and opportunity for women and hockey everywhere."

Postmedia's Rob Wong chats with Toronto SUN PWHL writer Mike Ganter about what has impressed him through the first month of the season, how the physicality of the game has changed and what we can expect ahead of next month's trade deadline.

Hilary Knight accepted the inaugural IIHF Female Player of the Year Award for the 2022-23 season at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto

Southern Professional Hockey League

Week 16 Goals

North American Hockey League

As the 2024 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament has come to a close, NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld speaks on the event and the league's season as a whole

Western Hockey League

WHL Top 10

Two years ago - Connor Bedard broke the internet with this must-see goal in Calgary.

Ontario Hockey League

OHL Plays of the Week

TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button dishes on 2024 NHL Draft prospect, Luca Marrelli - a stalwart defenceman for the red-hot Oshawa Generals!

United States Hockey League

One of the top prospects for the 2024 NHL Draft, Muskegon's Sacha Boisvert's shootout goal helped lift Muskegon to a 4-3 win over Youngstown.

LACROSSE

National Lacrosse League

The New York Riptide have turned a corner, and the signs were in place well before New York turned its struggling start into a furious run

Who said Joey Chestnut only downed dogs? He finished off over 100 mini doughnuts at halftime during the Saskatchewan Rush game this weekend.

With much respect and admiration for the movie Slap Shot... We bring you The Finer Points of Box Lacrosse.

BASEBALL

Atlantic League

New baseball team replacing bankrupt Honey Hunters. Gastonia, Atlantic League leaders believe new owners will take team in right direction.

Pioneer League

The Billings Mustangs unveiled the club's new primary logo as the team prepares for the 2024 Pioneer League baseball season. Coming off an exciting 2023 playoff run that saw the team make it all the way to the league finals, the Mustangs hope to take the final step and bring home a league championship. The 2023 team's 15-game win streak tied the record previously set in 1994. The team's new logo incorporates aspects of current logos, the legendary rims, and the Mustangs charging into the future. "The new logo is bright, colorful, and attention-grabbing," said Mustangs' team owner Dave Heller. "It incorporates the iconic Rimrocks, has a western style unique to the northern Mountain Plains states, and evokes the energy, speed, and strength of the Mustangs players. It's a perfect fit for Billings."

The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, are pleased to announce their new manager for the 2024 season in the MLB Draft League. Adonis Smith will be the second manager for the Draft League Thunder as a co-founding member of the MLB Draft League. Smith, who was the hitting coach for the Thunder in 2023, is no stranger to the Trenton area and is well qualified for the manager position. With Smith as the hitting coach a season ago, the Thunder had the first ranked offense in the first-half of the year with a league- leading .407 team slugging percentage that also included 16 home runs in the month of June (1st). "We are incredibly excited to name Adonis Smith as our new manager and to welcome him back to Trenton for the 2024 season," said Thunder GM Jon Bodnar. "There's no question Adonis possesses the values and skills that we believe produce continued success on the field. He embodies what the Thunder look for as the leader of this ball-club and we can't wait to see him thrive in an elevated role this year."

OTHER SPORTS

Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby (MLR) and USA Rugby announced a collaboration on referee development. This collaboration is aimed at solidifying a pathway for domestic referees into the MLR in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2031. "The importance of the officials in our game can never be understated. This partnership with USA Rugby mirrors our initiatives on the player pathways and aims to make MLR a leader in the development of match officials," said Nic Benson, CEO of Major League Rugby. "As the highest level of rugby in the country, it is imperative that USA Rugby and MLR are aligned to ensure consistency of message for aspirational match officials in this country. This collaboration also cements USA Rugby's referee development structures as the pathway to being involved in MLR," added Jamie McGregor, USA Rugby Referee Manager.

Ultimate Frisbee Association

Buzzer beaters, overtime thrillers, playoff clinchers, and much more from the wildest plays from the 2023 season.

Did we miss anything newsworthy or fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.


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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from February 13, 2024


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.


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