WNBA Cares tips off a summer of giving back to communities

NEW YORK – To celebrate the start of summer and the tip-off of the WNBA season, the league and its teams will highlight their shared commitment to the community during WNBA Cares Week from May 29-June 4.

WNBA Cares Week inspires teams and their communities to enjoy the outdoors by hosting WNBA FIT clinics, refurbishing local schools and community centers, and cleaning local parks.  The league and its players will focus on key initiatives such as health and wellness and inspiring women.  Highlights of WNBA Cares Week include:

  • The Connecticut Sun will “paint the town orange” by supplying new nets for outdoor recreational courts in Norwich, Conn.
  • Atlanta’s First Lady Sarah-Elizabeth Reed will officially declare May 29-June 4 “Dream Cares Week,” in conjunction with the dedication and reveal of a refurbished Dream S.T.E.A.M. Center, which will provide a safe place for youth to engage in academic interests. The team will also make several appearances throughout the week highlighting the league’s commitment to health and wellness, education and inspiring women.
  • The New York Liberty will host the Liberty Summer Tip-Off Presented by Chase, with the entire roster and coaching staff holding outdoor clinics at nine different New York City Parks Department locations throughout the five boroughs, plus two in New Jersey. An MVP will be selected at each location, and those children will be honored on the court at a Liberty game in August. In addition, all participants in the Liberty Summer Tip-Off clinics will receive tickets to the team’s home opener on June 5.

A schedule of additional activities for WNBA Cares Week is listed below.  More information, including dates and locations for each event, can be found on WNBA.com or on specific team websites.


Chicago The Sky will partner with City Year Chicago to uplift and transform Kilmer Elementary School and Sullivan High School in the Rogers Park community. Players, coaches, front-office staff and season-ticket holders will work side-by-side to paint motivational murals, plant trees and build benches for indoor and outdoor spaces.  The team will also paint a basketball court as part of the school’s outdoor playground area, giving students their own space to play basketball all summer.


Indiana The Fever will conduct a dozen Get Fever Fit clinics during May and early June, including Get Fever Fit stations for 9,000 kids as part of IPS (Indianapolis Public Schools) Field Day on May 20 at the Fitness Farm in Indianapolis.  IPS Field Day featured orange nets and orange chalk on its basketball courts as part of Operation Orange, which celebrates the start of the 2015 WNBA season.  Prior to its preseason game on May 29, the Fever will conduct its annual Choices For Champions educational program to promote anti-bullying and healthy lifestyles for children in grades three through eight.


Los Angeles The Sparks will host the LA Sparks #WeAreLA Block Party at Chick Hearn Plaza on June 4.  The event will be a carnival-style celebration to tip off the summer of Sparks basketball.  Sparks players will be in attendance to sign autographs and interact with fans.  Attendees will also have the first opportunity to see the Sparks’ three new dance teams perform live.  The team will invite local youth community groups to enjoy the party with special meet and greets with Sparks players.


Minnesota The two-time WNBA Champion Lynx will host a reading timeout at a Twin Cities elementary school.  The program aims to demonstrate to youth that reading is important to success later in life.  Lynx players will also take a group of elementary school students to the Minnesota Science Museum.  In addition, Lynx front-office members are teaming with US Bank and Minneapolis Parks to help clean a local community park.


San Antonio The Stars will help the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department by participating in a park cleanup on May 29.  Stars players will work with volunteers from St. Philips College to make Martin Luther King Jr. Park in San Antonio a place for the local community to enjoy.


Phoenix The Mercury will host multiple community events during WNBA Cares Week. The Mercury will deliver lunch to the brave members of a local fire station and police precinct on May 29 in an effort to thank them for their commitment to the community. On June 2, the Mercury will purchase groceries from Fry’s Food Stores for two local families in need. The entire team will be on hand to help the families shop, greet and mingle with other fans, and trade places with some of the Fry’s employees.


Seattle Seattle is hosting an event on June 2 at Gale Place, an affordable housing unit in the Rainier area.  The event is being held in conjunction with Capitol Hill housing, which serves moderate- to low-income residents and focuses on community development.  Storm players will help with landscaping projects and conduct a basketball clinic.


Tulsa Shock players, coaches, trainers and staff will volunteer at the YWCA’s Girls On The Run 5K Spring Race.  Girls on the Run is a 10-week mentor/fitness after-school program that inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms, encouraging them to be joyful, healthy and confident.  The program uses a fun, experience-based course that creatively integrates running and the outdoors.  In addition, select players will be meeting with kids participating in the YMCA of Greater Tulsa’s summer youth basketball program.  The attendees will learn about the importance of leadership and character development, the value of education and the significance of teamwork and work ethic.


Washington The Mystics will partner with Catholic Charities and its ongoing service program, Cup of Joe.  Cup of Joe provides breakfast for each of the residents of the five low-barrier emergency shelters operated by Catholic Charities, which can consist of more than 1,000 men and women each morning.  Players will take part in packaging meals, decorating bags and adding special messages of hope and love.


The WNBA will also engage fans this summer through WNBA Summer Hoops, the league’s marketing campaign designed to strengthen the connection between the joy of summertime and the joy of basketball.  Teams will host a variety of events throughout the summer and will celebrate marquee holidays with fans.  In honor of Pride Month and the WNBA’s commitment to inclusion and equality, the league will host a WNBA Pride game between the Sky and Liberty on June 30, airing live on ESPN2.  Leading up to Father’s Day in June, the WNBA Dads & Daughters program will celebrate the bond fathers and daughters can build through basketball.  Around the Fourth of July, WNBA Hoops for Troops will honor active and retired service members and their families.