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Allisha Gray, NaLyssa Smith headline Athletes Unlimited new additions

Allisha Gray, NaLyssa Smith headline Athletes Unlimited new additions

Season 2 of Athletes Unlimited Basketball is coming relatively soon — with new players.

A player pool that already included the likes of two-way force Natasha Cloud and bucket-getting Courtney Williams is getting stronger this time around. Allisha Gray, star wing for the Dallas Wings (for now?), will be tossing her hat into the ring, as well as All-Rookie First Team selection NaLyssa Smith of the Indiana Fever. 

The league announced the following on Tuesday:

The second season of Athletes Unlimited Basketball will take place from February 22 to March 26, 2023, with all games taking place at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, Texas. CBS Sports will broadcast five of the 30 games live on CBS Sports Network, and will also showcase a 30-minute special titled “Athletes Unlimited: A Pro Sports Revolution'' this Saturday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+.

In addition, Air National Guard has signed on as Athletes Unlimited’s newest partner, and will support the 2023 basketball season.

Thirty one players, including 15 with significant WNBA experience, have already signed contracts for the upcoming season. Among the signees are guard Allisha Gray, who helped the United States win a Gold medal in 3X3 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and forward NaLyssa Smith, a member of the 2022 WNBA All-Rookie Team.

In addition, a group of 21 players return for their second Athletes Unlimited Basketball season, including standout guards Lexie Brown, Natasha Cloud and Sydney Colson, who are all members of the Athletes Unlimited Player Executive Committee.

The current roster (in alphabetical order) is below. A complete roster, game schedule and additional details will be announced at a later date. Unlimited Club members have first access to presale season tickets starting at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Season tickets for the general public will be available starting on 11 a.m. CT on Thursday, Oct. 27, at auprosports.com/tickets.

The first season of Athletes Unlimited Basketball took place in Las Vegas and concluded in February 2022 with Tianna Hawkins crowned as the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Basketball Champion, while Brown, Cloud and Isabelle Harrison rounded out the top four players on the leaderboard.

Like its other leagues, Athletes Unlimited Basketball features a range of scoring innovations to bring athletes and fans a unique and intense version of the sport. Individual athletes earn points based on both team wins and individual performance and become the champions in team sports. Points are earned on every play and the leaderboard will change constantly. In addition, teams change each week, with the top four athletes in the standings serving as captains and drafting their teams. At the end of the five-week season, the player with the most points is crowned as individual champion.

Hosted by Heather Cox, the special airing on CBS Sports, “Athletes Unlimited: A Pro Sports Revolution,” will tell the story of Athletes Unlimited from its launch to the present day, including nine seasons of champions, an overview of AU’s unique scoring system and other innovations, and spotlight some of the personalities that have been a part of Athletes Unlimited thus far.

The Air National Guard becomes the Official Military Partner of Athletes Unlimited, and will activate on site throughout the basketball season while also being integrated into the game broadcasts.

“We are thrilled to bring the excitement of Athletes Unlimited Basketball to our great fans in Dallas, which will truly be the epicenter of women’s basketball during that time with AU and the NCAA Final Fours happening so close together,” said Jon Patricof, CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited. “We are also proud to have the support of our partners at CBS Sports and Air National Guard in bringing our unique brand of basketball to fans.”

“I’m thrilled to be a part of Athletes Unlimited once again,” said Colson, who chairs the Athletes Unlimited Basketball Player Executive Committee. “The inaugural season was competitive and fun, and we have a talented roster ready to bring that same intensity to year two in Dallas! We hope the Dallas community is ready to embrace AU hoops because we’re so excited for another season to be able to play stateside.”

“We are excited to have Athletes Unlimited bring its thrilling brand of women’s pro basketball to our incredible fans in Dallas,” said Monica Paul, Executive Director of the Dallas Sports Commission. “Between Athletes Unlimited and the NCAA Women’s Final Four, Dallas will be an epicenter for women’s basketball in February and March.”

"A partnership with Athletes Unlimited will allow the Air National Guard to influence a new, untapped audience and expand our reach with this community of both athletes and fans across the country. The Air National Guard seeks to engage the best and the brightest talent throughout the country and this will give us that opportunity,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Fore, Air Force Recruiting Service Total Force Marketing deputy. "We are proud to partner with an organization that puts an emphasis on equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and women's career growth on and off the field."

About Athletes Unlimited

Athletes Unlimited is a new model of pro sports where athletes are decision-makers and individual players are champions of team sports. Athletes Unlimited literally changes the game with faster play and new team rosters every week, delivering next-level competition and engagement in which every moment counts.

The first season of women's softball took place in 2020, with the inaugural seasons of women's indoor
volleyball and women’s lacrosse being completed in 2021, along with season two of softball. We completed our inaugural Basketball league, season two of lacrosse and volleyball, season three of softball and our inaugural AUX softball competitions in 2022.

For more information, visit AUProSports.com.

ROSTER (As of Oct. 24, alphabetical order; scroll right to view full table)

No. 

Name

Pos.

Ht. 

Hometown

School 

Pronouns

33 

Antoinette  

Bannister

G/F 

5-10 

Jacksonville, FL

East Carolina

She/Her

13 

Kristi Bellock 

6-1 

St. Rose, LA

Texas A&M

She/Her

Lexie Brown 

5-9 

Suwanee, GA

Duke

 

20 

Kirby Burkholder 

5-11 

Bridgewater, VA

James Madison

She/Her

 

Jordin Canada 

5-6 

Los Angeles, CA

UCLA

 

41 

DiJonai  

Carrington

6-0 

San Diego, CA

Stanford

 

Essence Carson 

6-1 

Paterson, NJ

Rutgers

 
 

Layshia  

Clarendon

5-9 

San Bernardino, CA

California

They/ 

Them

Natasha Cloud 

6-0 

Broomall, PA

Saint Joseph's

 

14 

Taj Cole 

5-9 

Richmond, VA

Virginia Tech

She/Her

51 

Sydney Colson 

5-8 

Houston, TX

Texas A&M

 

Drew Edelman 

6-4 

Sunnyvale, CA

USC 

She/Her

 

Allisha Gray 

6-0 

Sandersville, GA

South Carolina

She/Her

15 

Rebecca Harris 

5-7 

Belleville, IL

Illinois 

She/Her

75 

Air Hearn 

5-8 

Memphis, TN

Memphis

 
 

Naz Hillmon 

6-2 

Cleveland, OH

Michigan

 



90 

Meme Jackson 

G/F 

5-11 

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Tennessee

 
 

N'dea Jones 

6-2 

Lawrenceville, GA

Texas A&M

 

Whitney Knight 

6-3 

Winston Salem, NC

Florida Gulf Coast

She/Her

30

Jessica Kuster 

6-2 

San Antonio, TX

Rice

 
32

Akela Maize 

6-5 

Greensboro, NC

NC State

 

73 

Danni McCray 

6-1 

West Palm Beach, FL

Ole Miss 

She/Her

23 

Laurin Mincy 

6-0 

Newark, NJ

Maryland

 

Kelsey Mitchell 

5-8 

Cincinnati, OH

Ohio State

 

12 

Karisma Penn

6-2 

Shaker Heights, OH

Illinois 

She/Her

99

Odyssey Sims 

5-8 

Irving, TX

Baylor

 
 

NaLyssa Smith 

6-4 

Converse, TX

Baylor 

She/Her

92 

Destinee Walker 

5-9 

Orlando, FL

North Carolina

 
 

Evina Westbrook 

6-0 

Salem, OR

UConn

 
10

Courtney Williams

5-8 

Folkston, GA

USF

 

 

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