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WNBA BasketballThe Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States for women. It began play in 1997 and is currently composed of twelve teams. The WNBA season is played from May to September with the WNBA Finals usually taking place in early October. Teams compete in a regular season and a postseason tournament to determine the WNBA champion. The WNBA began as a seven-team league and has expanded to the current twelve-team format since its inception in 1996. Currently, the teams that compete in the WNBA are the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Indiana Fever, Las Vegas Aces, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm, and Washington Mystics. Popular current players in the WNBA include Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore of the Phoenix Mercury; Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks and Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics. Notable former players include Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson. In the regular season, teams are split into two conferences – the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The Western Conference is composed of the Dallas Wings, Las Vegas Aces, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm while the Eastern Conference is composed of the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty, and Washington Mystics. Each team plays a 34-game schedule consisting of 17 home games and 17 away games to determine conference seeding for the playoff tournament. The WNBA Playoffs begin in late August and are formatted as a best-of-five series. An entire WNBA series is completed in no more than ten days. Only the top eight teams advance to the WNBA Playoffs with the four winners of the traditional best-of-five semifinal series advancing to the WNBA Finals. The WNBA has seen notable success since its inception, and the league has emerged as a leader in Women’s sports. Records such as highest points per game, highest total points per game, most consecutive wins, and the longest winning streak are held by WNBA players. WNBA teams have produced many championship wins with the Los Angeles Sparks having four championships, the Minnesota Lynx having four championships, the Houston Comets having four championships, and the Seattle Storm having three championships. The WNBA has seen exponential growth in terms of viewership, ratings, and attendance in the last two decades with the 2020 WNBA league attendance averaging 8,048 fans per game. Television coverage has also become more common with ESPN networks broadcasting games and their WNBA Draft coverage which has seen 67% viewership growth from 2017 to 2020. The WNBA is a professional basketball league that has seen immense growth in popularity since its inception in 1996. Today, it remains the premier American reference for professional women’s basketball, offering exciting playoff tournament play with some of the greatest players in the world of basketball.