This has become an almost annual blog topic. Inspired last month at first by Selection Sunday and Monday for the recently completed NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, I sent this tweet:
— Kevin Messenger (@kmess65) March 13, 2017
My March schedule was full with week-to-week high school and college tournament events at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and it sparked my mental transition to the start of another season for the Indiana Fever and the WNBA. For me, the madness of March triggers the start to the WNBA season. As quickly as Final Four tournaments ended on April 3, preparation for the upcoming WNBA season is in a full sprint!
With that said, here is a look at some key dates as we approach the season:
This year’s NCAA women’s basketball championship game was played in Dallas — much to the delight of Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell and the rest of her fans from South Carolina. The pinnacle of the NCAAW season leads way to the WNBA.
Only 11 days after that national championship game — eligible players will be selected as part of the WNBA Draft 2017. Indiana, which traded away their No. 8 draft pick as part of a three-team trade to acquire Candice Dupree, will draft three times in the second round and once in the third round. Due to trades the past two seasons, Indiana owns more draft picks than in any season since four selections in 2006. The Fever will select at #17, #20, #22 and #32.
Also on this day, single game tickets for the 2017 season will go on sale. Fans are encouraged to visit FeverBasketball.com on that day for a special ticket offer.
The Pokey Chatman Era officially begins on the court, as training camp opens just 10 days following the draft. Though 10 veterans return to the Fever from their 2016 playoff squad, Dupree leads a small cast of new faces to make their practice debut at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Free agent post players Nadia Colhado, Bashaara Graves, Victoria Macauley and Shanise McKinney will join Indiana draft picks as Chatman leads her new team through a three-week training camp.
Indiana hosts the Washington Mystics in a home preseason game that will be conducted at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The preseason date at the coliseum mirrors the same event in 2015, allowing the Fever and Community Health Network to present their annual Choices for Champions educational program. Students ranging from 4th to 8th grade will participate in the interactive program from 10:00 to 11:15 a.m., followed by the Fever and Mystics at noon.
One month after the NCAA national championship game in Dallas, the Fever will visit Dallas for a preseason road game against the Wings.
MAY 14 & 17
The Indiana Fever will embark on their 18th season. Chatman leads her new club into road games at Seattle and Phoenix to mark the first time in club history that Indiana begins a season with more than one game on the road, or on the West Coast.
Home openers are always special, and it will mark the beginning of an 18th season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Fever will welcome the Connecticut Sun as part Opening Night delivered by Papa John’s!
What Messenger blog worth the time to read doesn’t include a Tamika Catchings reference? Looking ahead to June, another key date in 2017 will be that special evening in which the Fever will retire Catchings’ No. 24 jersey! It will be a night to visit the Fieldhouse, for sure.
Mark those dates on your calendar. The madness of March is gone… the WNBA is next! Come #WatchUsWork!
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