The inaugural Athletes Unlimited Basketball season will include 16 players with WNBA experience, including new signees Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever), Lexie Brown (Chicago Sky), and Mercedes Russell (Seattle Storm).
They join Natasha Cloud, Jantel Lavender, Courtney Williams, a few of the first WNBA players who signed on.
The full 44-player roster (included below) was announced on Tuesday.
Four players- Becca Wann-Taylor, Taj Cole, Briahanna Jackson, and Takoia Larry – earned roster spots via an Athletes Unlimited Open Tryout in December.
While a quarter of the roster was on a WNBA team at the conclusion of the 2021 season, nearly every player – 42 of 44 – has experience playing in an international pro league.
When Athletes Unlimited announced its inaugural basketball league this fall, one of the selling points was that it would allow players to spend more time in the United States.
“I have played overseas, it’s not what I want to do,” Natasha Cloud said when she signed on in October. “I don’t want to spend seven months away from my family. To have a competitive league and stay in shape and transition right in the W is new wave. I’m excited to be one of the pioneers for the basketball side of it.”
READ MORE ABOUT THE FIRST EVER AU BASKETBALL SEASON: Athletes Unlimited gives WNBA players an at-home option
The five-week AU Basketball season – which will be played in Las Vegas – kicks off on January 26 and runs through February 28.
Similar to the other Athletes Unlimited leagues in softball, volleyball, and lacrosse, basketball players will earn points each week based on their team’s results, as well individual statistics. At the end of each week, the leading four players will draft the teams for the following week’s games.
The 44 players will compete for over $1 million in prize money, with the winner receiving roughly $50,000.
Complete Roster for the 2022 Athletes Unlimited Basketball Season:
|G||Ciara Andrews||Saint Joseph’s Univ. ‘16||–|
|G/F||Antoinette Bannister||East Carolina Univ. ‘17||–|
|C||Kalani Brown||Baylor Univ. ‘19||Hatayspor (KBSL-TUR)|
|G||Lexie Brown||Duke Univ. ‘18||Chicago Sky (WNBA)|
|G||Kirby Burkholder||James Madison Univ. ‘14||Santurce (BSNF-PUR)|
|G||Marjorie Butler||Univ. of Georgia ‘16||–|
|G/F||DiJonai Carrington||Stanford Univ. ‘20⁴||Connecticut Sun (WNBA)|
|G||Essence Carson||Rutgers Univ. ’08||–|
|G/F||Brittany Carter||Ball State Univ. ‘14⁵||Keltern (DBBL-GER)|
|G||Natasha Cloud||St. Joseph’s Univ. ‘15||Washington Mystics (WNBA)|
|G||Taj Cole||Univ. of Georgia ‘19¹||Unicaja Málaga (LF2-ESP)|
|G||Sydney Colson||Texas A&M Univ. ‘11||–|
|F||Drew Edelman||Univ. of Southern California ‘16²||Hollywood Wonder (WUBA)|
|C||Nikki Greene||Penn State Univ. ‘13||Angers (LFB-FRA)|
|F||Kiki Harrigan||Univ. of South Carolina ‘20||Seattle Storm (WNBA)|
|G||Rebecca Harris||Univ. of Illinois ‘08||Dynamo NPU (SuperLeague-UKR)|
|F||Isabelle Harrison||Univ. of Tennessee ‘15||Dallas Wings (WNBA)|
|F||Tianna Hawkins||Univ. of Maryland ‘13||Atlanta Dream (WNBA)|
|G||Ariel Hearn||Univ. of Memphis ‘16||Sherbrooke Suns (Big V-AUS)|
|G||Grace Hunter||North Carolina State Univ. ‘20||–|
|G||Briahanna Jackson||Univ. of Louisville ‘17||Club Aztks (LMBPF-MEX)|
|G/F||Meme Jackson||Univ. of Tennessee ‘19||Santurce (BSNF-PUR)|
|G||Tyce Knox||Texas A&M Univ. ‘17||–|
|F||Jessica Kuster||Rice Univ. ‘14||–|
|F||Takoia Larry||Texas Wesleyan Univ. ‘14||–|
|F||Jantel Lavender||Ohio State Univ. ‘11||Indiana Fever (WNBA)|
|C||Akela Maize||North Carolina State Univ. ‘18||La Glacerie (LF2-FRA)|
|F||Lauren Manis||College of the Holy Cross ‘20||Cegledi (NB I/A-HUN)|
|G/F||Danielle L. McCray||University of Kansas ‘10||Poznan (EBLK-POL)|
|F||Danielle M. McCray||Univ. of Mississippi ‘16||Hannover (DBBL-GER)|
|C||Imani McGee-Stafford||University of Texas ‘16||–|
|G||Laurin Mincy||Univ. of Maryland ‘15||–|
|G||Kelsey Mitchell||Ohio State Univ. ‘18||Indiana Fever (WNBA)|
|F||Chelsea Phillips||Park Univ.||FSV Rijeka (Premijer Liga-CRO)|
|F||Toccara Ross||Iowa State Univ. ‘09||Pioneras de Delicias (LBE-MEX)|
|G||Tina Roy||Univ. of South Carolina ‘16||–|
|C||Mercedes Russell||Univ. of Tennessee ‘18||Seattle Storm (WNBA)|
|G||Odyssey Sims||Baylor Univ. ‘14||Atlanta Dream (WNBA)|
|G||Antoinette Thompson||Texas Christian Univ. ‘12||Saarlouis (DBBL-GER)|
|G||Destinee Walker||Univ. of North Carolina ‘19³||Niki Lefkadas (A1 National-GRE)|
|G/F||Becca Wann-Taylor||Univ. of Richmond ‘14||–|
|G||Courtney Williams||Univ. of South Florida ‘16||Atlanta Dream (WNBA)|
|G||Dominique Wilson||North Carolina State Univ. ‘17||Wroclaw (EBLK-POL)|
|G/F||Ty Young||James Madison Univ. ‘08||Manati (BSNF-PUR)|
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