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WNBA delays 2020 season due to coronavirus pandemic

While the season will not begin May 15 as scheduled, teams continue to prepare for the league's virtual draft April 17.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier plays against the Los Angeles Sparks during the first half of an WNBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

MINNEAPOLIS — WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert confirmed Friday that the 2020 league season will be delayed indefinitely while the country, and the world, deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the social distancing guidelines in the United States through April 30, the WNBA will postpone the start of its training camps and tip of the regular season originally scheduled for May 15," Engelbert said in a released statement. "While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees."

During the delay WNBA teams, including the Lynx, continue preparations for the 2020 WNBA Draft which will be held virtually April 17 to honor policies against large gatherings and to support social distancing. Top prospects will take part remotely live on ESPN. 

"The Lynx fully support the WNBA’s decision today to postpone the start of the upcoming WNBA season," read a statement from the Lynx. "The safety of our fans, players and staff is of the utmost importance. Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by the pandemic and we thank those who are working tirelessly to fight the coronavirus."

Minnesota will have a good opportunity to take a step in rebuilding the franchise, as the club currently has the sixth and 16th overall selections in this year’s draft. The core of the teams that captured a handful of WNBA Championships is gone, with Lindsey Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson retired, Maya Moore on personal leave and Seimone Augustus gone in free agency to the LA Sparks. 

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