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2021 WNBA schedule released as season set to tip off on May 14

WNBA's 25th season will begin on Friday, May 14 when New York Liberty host Indiana Fever; Spotlight on MVPs on tip-off weekend as Candace Parker faces Elena Delle Donne, and former MVP Breanna Stewart and Storm host reigning MVP A'ja Wilson and Aces

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) pushes the ball up the court during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP)
Image: 2020 No 1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty will host the Indiana Fever in the first game of the WNBA season

The WNBA will tip off its 25th season on May 14 with teams returning to their home arenas following a season in the bubble in Bradenton, Florida, the league announced on Tuesday.

All 12 teams will be in action on the opening weekend, with two games featuring matchups between former MVPs.

Each team will play 32 games during the regular season, which is scheduled to end on September 19.

The league will go on hiatus from July 15 through August 11 to allow players to take part in the Tokyo Olympics.

"As we tip-off this historic season with teams returning to play in their home markets, we celebrate the impact the WNBA has made on generations of young and diverse athletes and on sports and society since 1997," WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.

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"Together with our fans and partners, we look ahead to how the outstanding athletes of the WNBA will continue to provide the best women's basketball in the world while also driving change, striving for justice and equality, and impacting future generations."

Leading off the season in the first game on May 14 will be the New York Liberty and the No 1 overall draft pick in 2020, Sabrina Ionescu, as they host the Indiana Fever at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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Other games that night feature the Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream, Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx, and the Dallas Wings at the Los Angeles Sparks.

Action on May 15 includes a meeting between the Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics, featuring former MVPs Candace Parker and Elena Delle Donne. It will be the debut with Chicago for Parker, formerly of the Sparks.

After that game, former MVP Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm will host reigning MVP A'ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces. The Storm will receive their WNBA championship rings before the game.

The opening weekend will conclude on Sunday when the Mercury visit the Sun and the Liberty travel to face the Fever.

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