The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) was founded in 1996 as the counterpart to the NBA. It is composed of 12 teams: Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Indiana Fever, Las Vegas Aces, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm, and Washington Mystics.
In April 2020, the WBNA proudly hosted a virtual draft on ESPN, which turned out to be the most-watched WNBA draft in 16 years, with over 6.5 million views on social media. Before the draft began three young women were chosen as honorary draft picks; Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, and Payton Chester. The three girls had played on a youth basketball team coached by Kobe Bryant, with strong promise to one day be apart of the WNBA league. They tragically passed in a helicopter accident on January 26, 2020, and were not able to realize that dream. The WBNA remains dedicated to giving woman a voice and an advocate for young women to pursue their dreams in the sports industry.