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New League to Offer Record Women’s Pro Basketball Salaries

  • Unrivaled, a three-on-three league founded by Breanna Stewart and Napheesa Collier, begins play in January 2025.
  • Notably, every player will have a piece of equity in the league.
Jan 27, 2024; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Former UConn Huskies player Breanna Stewart is recognized along with other players before the start of the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Unrivaled is taking its namesake to another level. 

The three-on-three women’s basketball league founded by WNBA stars Breanna Stewart and Napheesa Collier will offer the highest average salary in the history of women’s professional sports leagues, the company announced Thursday. 

Backed by a slew of new investors, including soccer legends Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan as well as former basketball stars such as Steve Nash and Carmelo Anthony, the league has already received commitments from 10 WNBA All-Stars and will have 30 players across six teams playing full court. 

The season will begin play in January 2025 and will run during the WNBA’s offseason, allowing the league’s stars to participate. Notably, every player will have a piece of equity in the league. Other new investors include women’s golf icon Michelle Wie West, actor Ashton Kutcher, and former ESPN president John Skipper, now with Meadowlark Media. Collier and Stewart said all player salaries will be six figures. 

“It’s really important to us,” Collier said to the Associated Press. “Compensation is a huge part of Unrivaled as a league and a business. All the players in this first year will have equity in the league. For players to have a piece of the pie essentially to grow their generational wealth is something we’re really excited about.”

The average WNBA salary is $130,000, though that should go up as the league expects to double its next media-rights deal. Players can also make additional money by becoming an ambassador to the WNBA, which pays as much as $250,000. Many WNBA players spend their offseason playing overseas to supplement their income, which is why Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner was in Russia when she was arrested, and Unrivaled is hoping to keep players in the country during the offseason while filling their pockets.

“It’s amazing, not only for the salaries to be similar or more than your WNBA salary, but to be able to build brand partnerships that can’t come into the W or the NBA,” Stewart told the AP. “It’s more than just an initial salary, but showing these companies who you are as a player.”

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