The WNBA season may be over and done with, but basketball never stops. With so many athletes still participating in basketball overseas during the offseason, it’s important to keep tabs on their performance.
For the first time since the pandemic began, overseas players can play in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA). Current and former WNBA players are taking advantage, with nearly a dozen participating. Here are a few of the players that have stood out so far:
Cheyenne Parker (Zhejiang)
Cheyenne Parker had a career year for the Atlanta Dream this season, and she’s taken that momentum and brought it to the WCBA. Playing for the Zhejiang, she is the team’s clear star player. She has helped her squad begin the season with just one loss and is coming off her best game of the season, scoring 31 points and grabbing 19 boards in the team’s 106-100 overtime win against Shandong, which is the team Satou Sabally of the Dallas Wings plays for.
Alyssa Thomas (Shanxi)
Come root for Alyssa Thomas in the WCBA. She plays for Shanxi, which happens to be one of my favorite teams this season. FISU Games phenomenon Liu Yutong has also joined Shanxi as a rookie this year. The season starts tomorrow and it’s going to be a lot of fun! pic.twitter.com/Zy8O3hf4rL
— Chinese Women’s Hoop Show (@YifengLi) October 16, 2023
When players go overseas, it’s often to get more compensation, as well as get more reps to be prepared for the WNBA season ahead. Alyssa Thomas already is a bona fide star in the WNBA and is a force in the WCBA. Playing for Shanxi, Thomas has helped the team start their season with four straight wins, suffering their first loss on Monday when they lost 88-61 against Beijing. Thomas ended the matchup with 8 points and 9 rebounds, but, more importantly, suffered an injury in the game. Updates are not available at this time, but let’s hope it’s not a major setback for Thomas. One the other side, it was Teaira McCowan of the Dallas Wings who put on a show with 17 points in 19 minutes.
Satou Sabally (Shandong)
Breaking news: Satou Sabally is legit. She took a jump in her career with Dallas this season and she’s taken that momentum with her to Shandong. In her first game, she posted a 34-point and 15-rebound performance, a prime example of her superstar upside. Her team is struggling with a 2-3 record, but they’ve had narrow losses to some of the best teams in the WCBA. Their record is likely to improve with Sabally now in tow.
Teaira McCowan (Beijing)
The Wings have plenty of representation in the WCBA. In addition to Sabally beginning to ball out, Teaira McCowan has been doing things for Beijing. She dominated with a double-double in a win against Shanxi. With McCowan already an established player in the W, she is certain to continue having success in China and could have Beijing in position to compete for a title.
It’s great that WNBA players have the option to play overseas, where they can continue to sharpen their skills during the long offseason. We’ll update you on WCBA action throughout the season. Maybe we’ll check in on how Tina Charles is doing. Or Olivia Nelson-Ododa. Or see how former WNBA player Chennedy Carter is performing for Heilongjiang. China quickly is becoming a booming market for women’s basketball and thus is worth keeping close tabs on, just like the EuroLeague.