Get ready for premium basketball entertainment, as the WNBA All-Star Skills Challenge returns this year. While the skills challenge isn’t a new concept for the league – it’s in its 7th year – this year there’s a new format to be excited about because it’s full of the pros.
Four sets of WNBA All-Star teammates will go head-to-head in a two-round, timed, obstacle course, relay competition that tests agility, dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. Whereas last year, each WNBA player was paired up with a high school player from Nike Nationals and teams competed head-to-head (Sabrina Ionescu and NC State commit won).
You can catch the suspenseful event on TV or in-person. To watch, just tune into ESPN on Friday, July 14 at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET, as part of the All-Star Weekend festivities.
Four teams of two WNBA players will compete this year, organized by league team:
Despite Sabrina’s success from last year, our bet would be on the Aces duo rising to the top this year. But we can’t wait to see which team wins. Let’s take a look at what they’ve got to do.
In the first round each player completes the course one at a time playing for the fastest time against the clock. Player 1 competes first, and once they are done, their teammate Player 2 can go. The two teams that complete the course with the fastest times advance to the final round, and compete on the same course in the same way for the championship. If there’s a tie, tied teams repeat the course. In the final round, the team with the slower time will go first.
The hardest part is probably going to be the stress of the last three-point shot, though surprisingly the chest pass and left corner three can cause some hold ups as well. Here’s a look at each challenge the players must complete:
Here’s a preview of what the course looks like:
If you’re attending in person, you also have an opportunity to showcase your own basketball skills and win prizes while participating in a 30-second version of the Kia WNBA Skills Challenge located at WNBA Live, presented by U.S. Bank in Mandalay Bay Convention Center’s Bayside Hall F. Beginning on Friday, July 14 at 12 p.m. PT and running through Saturday, July 15 at 8 p.m. PT, WNBA Live presented by U.S. Bank is a two-day, interactive fan festival that will celebrate the intersection of the WNBA, fashion, music, and culture.
Learn more about 2023 WNBA All-Star Weekend here.
Team Aces took the win! Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum beat Sabrina Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot’s time in the final round by 13 seconds. Watch Kelsey and Chelsea take the course here.