The Sky will open their season July 26 against the Las Vegas Aces in a rematch of last season’s second-round playoff game, the league announced Monday.
Though you likely don’t need the reminder, the Aces ended the Sky’s 2019 season after forward Dearica Hamby made a 38-foot, game-winning shot that coach James Wade has adamantly argued shouldn’t have counted because she allegedly stepped out of bounds.
Led by Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Diamond DeShields, the Sky will play each team twice and have 10 nationally televised games, including the opener on ABC.
The Sky’s most grueling stretch of their season will most likely be their three games between Aug. 6 and 10. During that span, they’ll play the Phoenix Mercury, Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm — three All-Star-laden teams who are pegged to make runs at this year’s title.
Another notable date on the Sky’s schedule is Aug. 4, which is when Katie Lou Samuelson, the Sky’s 2019 fourth overall pick whom they traded this offseason to the Wings, and Astou Ndour, also shipped to Dallas this offseason, will face their former team for the first time.
Here’s a look at the Sky’s full 2020 schedule:
The Sky’s announcement was part of the league’s larger reveal of the entire schedule. The WNBA will tipoff its 22-game season-in-a-bubble at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, with back-to-back days of triple-header broadcasts across ABC, ESPN and CBS Sports Network, starting July 25.
The first game — a matchup between the Storm and New York Liberty that’ll begin at 11 a.m. on ESPN — will feature the return of Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, who missed last season due to injuries, and the professional debut of 2020 first overall pick Sabrina Ionescu. That’ll be followed by the Los Angeles Sparks-Mercury game at 2 p.m. on ABC and the Indiana Fever-Washington Mystics matchup at 5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
The regular season will conclude Sept. 12 and will be followed by a traditional playoff format.
In total, the WNBA will have 24 regular-season games nationally televised across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 and 40 games on CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.
“As we build on the momentum for women’s sports and the WNBA from last season, we’re incredibly grateful to our broadcast partners who have shown a continued commitment to bringing the WNBA to fans across the country on their biggest platforms,” commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. “This 2020 WNBA season will truly be one unlike any other, and we’re looking forward to using our collective platform to highlight the tremendous athletes in the WNBA as well as their advocacy for social change.”
As part of the league’s new social justice initiatives this season, players will wear uniforms that have Breonna Taylor’s name emblazoned on the back of each jersey during opening weekend. Players can also choose to wear the placard with Taylor’s name for later games, the league said.
“Black Lives Matter” will also be prominently displayed on courts during the games. And players will sport warm-up T-shirts that read “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back throughout the season.