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Natasha Cloud part of Athletes Unlimited, a new winter professional basketball league

The new league looks to be an additional option for WNBA players to play in the United States as opposed to playing in Europe, Asia or Australia.

Minnesota Lynx v Washington Mystics
Natasha Cloud is part of a Athletes Unlimited, a new professional basketball league that will take part in the winter.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

On Tuesday, it was announced that Athletes Unlimited, a women’s sports conglomerate, will launch a basketball league in Jan. 2022. It will be played from Jan. 29 through Feb. 22 and have 44 players.

Three players were announced as their founding players, which include Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud. The other players named are WNBA veterans Sydney Colson and Ty Young.

The format of the planned league is a bit different than a typical professional team where rosters are stable, absent trades, roster cuts and free agent signings. Teams are drafted in a fantasy-style format weekly which allows for players to get individual points and awards. In addition, the leagues will also have a “commitment to civic leadership and social responsibility.

Athletes Unlimited already has leagues in softball, volleyball and lacrosse.

Cloud was featured in a promotional video yesterday regarding the announcement.

What are your thoughts on the new league? I think the league could provide a new option for WNBA and other women’s basketball players to compete during the winter, especially here in the Western Hemisphere. That said, in my opinion, Athletes Unlimited will need some All-Star players who can be behind the effort. And though I wasn’t able to see anything on how much players will get paid, that is going to be the ultimate factor as to whether it could be a significant competitor against European leagues.