The nets are hung, the floor has been swept and Athletes Unlimited Basketball is just three days until tip off.
As the league prepares to launch its fourth sport, it welcomes new fans to become familiar with the unique and innovative model. This is your crash course to all things Athletes Unlimited and what to expect during the first week of competition.
Each week begins on Sunday at the draft and this week’s captains were determined by performance during the scrimmage games. Kelsey Mitchell (No. 1) will be in gold, Mercedes Russell (No. 2) will lead the orange team, Odyssey Sims (No. 3) will wear blue and the purple team will be captained by DiJonai Carrington (No. 4).
The captains will be allowed two minutes per pick, and can call for advice or strategize with Athletes Unlimited facilitators, staff and teammates to assemble their team. Every Sunday the top four on the leaderboard become captains and pick new teams to compete in the upcoming week together.
TFW you remember the very first draft is this weekend 😁
Tune in Sunday, January 23rd at 12 PM PT on Facebook and YouTube for our first ever Athletes Unlimited Basketball Draft! 🏀
— Athletes Unlimited (@AUProSports) January 20, 2022
Following the Leaderboard
Now that you know about the captains and weekly draft it’s time to explain how they get there. The Athletes Unlimited scoring system centers around moving up and down the Leaderboard. Athletes earn — or lose — points in three categories: win points, stat points and MVP points.
Win points are acquired as a team: +50 for winning each quarter and +100 for winning the overall game.
Stat points are based on individual performance with positive and negative values given to many of the stats you see in a box score like an assist (+10), steal (+10) or made three-pointer (+30). There’s also the chance to lose points for things like turnovers (-10), missed free-throws (-10) or committing an offensive foul (-16). For a full break down of the individual stats, check out How We Play.
The final way an athlete can move up the leaderboard are MVP Points. After each game, the players and members of The Unlimited Club vote for players who they feel had standout performances. These points will be added to the player’s individual total. Three players earn MVP honors each game and are awarded points as follows:
MVP 1: +90 points
MVP 2: +60 points
MVP 3: +30 points
MVP Voting and the Unlimited Club
MVP Voting is your way as a fan to pat an athlete on the back and say, “great game.” This is one of many exclusive benefits of being an Unlimited Club member.
With multiple tiers to fit your interest as a fan, you can get closer than ever to the games and athletes. Get invitations to virtual events, early access to tickets, 10% off select merchandise and more through the Pro, MVP and Captain level tiers.
Not sure you’re ready for the commitment? Everyone can join the Rookie Tier of the Unlimited Club for free to keep you updated with the newsletter, make your Unlimited Pick and have access to the Athletes Unlimited App.
How to Watch
Just like the weekly draft, five of the Athletes Unlimited Basketball games will have the ease of streaming. These games will be available on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
On Jan. 26 we’ll open up the season with Team Russell vs. Team Sims at 8 p.m. ET, streamed live on Athletes Unlimited Digital Platforms. Click on the TV and flip over to CBS Sports Network later that evening at 11 p.m. ET for Team Carrington vs. Team Mitchell.
Athletes Unlimited has partnered with CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports, Bally Sports Regional Sports Network to bring you the other 25 games this season.
If you want more info on what channel to find the games or where to find them on your local listing, we’ve created a Where to Watch Guide to keep you tuned in.
While we all love the game action and innovative point system, it is connected to something bigger than moving up the leaderboard.
The Athlete Causes program, powered by Give Lively, will provide funding to charities of the players’ choosing equal to 50% of their season bonus. Players will have the opportunity to create their own fundraising pages to support the organizations of their choice. You can find a full list of causes our athletes are playing for this season here.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re not just a women’s basketball fan — you’re an AU Basketball fan now.
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Get in the Game
Join The Unlimited Club to unlock benefits for every Athletes Unlimited season by downloading the official Athletes Unlimited App.
- Exclusive Pre-Sale Window
- Access to the Athletes Unlimited App and Fan Leaderboard
- Receive Special Member Giveaways
- Newsletter -- the best way to stay up to date with the latest Athletes Unlimited news
- Unlimited Pick athlete news & access
Rookie benefits, plus:
- Founding Member Designation
- Contribute 10% to the Athlete Bonus Pool
- Club Vote: Vote on Game MVPs, GEICO Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year & more
- Early Access to Tickets
- Exclusive end of season auction with game-used items with 90% of funds going to the Athlete Causes program and 10% going to the Player Bonus Pool
MVP benefits, plus:
- Access to Ticket Concierge
- Athlete-used item contest*
- On-site Meet & Greets with athletes
- Preferred Parking**
- Player-only item, such as a backpack or hat
- Unlimited Pick: Signed Item***
- *More details to come
- **When available
- ***Once per year, only for Captain members