Sabrina Ionescu’s Debut Against The Storm Headlines The WNBA’s Opening Day Schedule

The WNBA released its 2020 schedule on Monday. The teams will play 22 regular-season games in the “Wubble,” with two games against all opponents. All 12 teams will be in action during opening weekend at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where training camps are already underway.

Opening weekend will be dedicated to Black Lives Matter and honor victims of police brutality and racial violence, and the first game of the season will be a marquee attraction. Sabrina Ionescu, the first overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, is set to make her debut as the New York Liberty will face off against the Seattle Storm and returning stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart on July 25 at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Ionescu averaged 18 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists last season with the Oregon Ducks as she completed one of the all-time great college basketball careers. After an MVP season in 2018, Stewart missed the entire 2019 season due to a ruptured Achilles injury she suffered overseas. Bird missed last season as well following arthroscopic surgery on her left knee in May 2019. The Storm went with 18-16 without Stewart and Bird last season, but will look to return to championship contention in 2020.

Following the opener, the Los Angeles Sparks will go head-to-head with long-time rival Phoenix Mercury at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith will make her debut with her new team as she pairs up with WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, Diana Taurasi in the Mercury backcourt. Diggins-Smith was acquired by the Mercury in an offseason trade with the Dallas Wings. Taurasi only appeared in six games last season due to a back injury. The Los Angeles Sparks will be without Chiney Ogwumike and guard Kristi Toliver who will be sitting out for the 2020 WNBA season due to health reasons.

The last national TV game of opening day will feature the Indiana Fever against the Washington Mystics on CBS Sports Network at 5 p.m. ET. The 2019 champion Mystics will tip off their 2020 campaign potentially without a number of key players, including MVP Elena Delle Donne who still awaits the results of a medical evaluation.