Carleton to hit the court in first WNBA preseason game held in Canada
By Dave Gough
Chatham’s Bridget Carleton will be in the basketball spotlight next week as the only Canadian playing in a significant game for the growth of basketball in Canada.
Carleton and her Minnesota Lynx team will play a WNBA preseason game against the Chicago Sky this Saturday, May 13 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
The game will be the first-ever WNBA preseason game in Canada.
The game has drawn a lot of hype and interest—with tickets selling out online in one day. The game will be shown on TSN.
Unofficially, the game is seen as a possible preview for a WNBA team eventually coming to Toronto. The Toronto Raptors are a strong NBA franchise. Plus, there is strong interest in women’s basketball in Canada, and the WNBA wants to expand its reach globally.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert has called the game “historic” noting the great appetite Canadian fans have shown for the WNBA.
“I’ve spoken often of the global popularity of women’s basketball and, this past season, WNBA games were broadcast in 207 countries and territories,” Engelbert said in a press release previewing the game.
The WNBA has four active players including Carleton. The other players include her Minnesota teammate Natalie Achonwa, Kia Nurse and recent draft pick Laeticia Amihere.
Carleton will likely be the only Canadian player in the Toronto game, as Achonwa is expected to miss the season due to the birth of her first child.
Achonwa and Carleton recently led Canada to the semifinals of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. Carleton was named to the tournament all-star team and led Canada in scoring.