Sea­son opener set for July 26

Chicago Sun-Times - - BY THE NUMBERS - GETTY IM­AGES

The Sky will open their sea­son July 26 against the Aces in a re­match of a sec­ond-round play­off game last sea­son, the team an­nounced Mon­day.

The Aces ended the Sky’s 2019 sea­son af­ter for­ward Dearica Hamby made a game-win­ning, 38-foot shot that coach James Wade has ar­gued shouldn’t have counted be­cause she al­legedly stepped out of bounds.

The Sky will play each of the 11 other WNBA teams twice and will have 10 na­tion­ally tele­vised games, in­clud­ing their opener on ABC.

The Sky’s most gru­el­ing stretch likely will be their three games be­tween Aug. 6 and Aug. 10, when they’ll play the Mer­cury, Sun and Storm — three All-Star­laden teams who are pegged to make runs at the WNBA ti­tle.

An­other no­table date on the sched­ule is Aug. 4, which is when 2019 first-round draft pick Katie Lou Sa­muel­son and As­tou Ndour — both of whom the Sky traded to the Wings dur­ing the off­sea­son — will face their for­mer team for the first time.

The Sky’s an­nounce­ment was part of the WNBA’s re­veal of the en­tire sched­ule. The league will tip off its 22-game sea­son-in-abub­ble at the IMG Academy in Braden­ton, Florida, with back-to­back days of triple­header broad­casts July 25-26 on ABC, ESPN and CBS Sports Net­work.

The first game — a matchup be­tween the Storm and Lib­erty that will be­gin at 11 a.m. July 25 on ESPN — will fea­ture the re­turn of Storm stars Sue Bird and Bre­anna Ste­wart, who missed last sea­son be­cause of in­juries, and the pro de­but of No. 1 over­all draft pick Sab­rina Ionescu with the Lib­erty.

The reg­u­lar sea­son will con­clude Sept. 12 and will be fol­lowed by a tra­di­tional play­off for­mat.

Kahleah Cop­per and the rest of the Sky will be­gin their sea­son July 26 against the Aces in Braden­ton, Fla.

MADE­LINE KEN­NEY mken­ney@sun­times.com | @mad­ken­ney

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