'Unrivaled' 3-on-3 basketball league developed by Breanna Stewart and Napheesa Collier to debut in January

Breanna Stewart and Napheesa Collier's 3-on-3 league Unrivaled is set to debut in January with players earning the highest average salary in women’s professional sports league history.
Liberty star Breanna Stewart and her former UConn teammate Napheesa Collier’s 3-on-3 league Unrivaled is set to debut in January in Miami.

"The need for Unrivaled is because we have a seven-month gap in our season and a way to keep players home, continue to build brands and be in a different market than a 'W' team and just build off of that," says Stewart. "You see the moment and the movement that's happening behind women's sports—specifically the WNBA and women's basketball," says Stewart. "Continuing to just make sure that people can find us wherever they want."

Compensation will be key—the average WNBA base salary is about $130,000 and many, including Stewart—have played overseas to supplement their income. This league promises to be an enticing option.

"We want year one to be a splash and to be able to make sure that we're starting big and it's only going to get bigger. It's a big deal," adds Stewart. "And to have it be the highest average salary ever in women's sports history is huge—but also the equity piece, you know, knowing that these 30 players that commit—they're going to have a piece of this league for many years to come."

Unrivaled is also seen as an answer to the prioritization clause in the WNBA's latest collective bargaining agreement which requires players to arrive at training camp on time or else face a season-long suspension.

The league which was first announced last summer will run for eight weeks and will be comprised of 30 players divided into six teams which will play two games a week on a court about two-thirds the size of a WNBA one.

"It's just going to create great exposure and it's an opportunity for us to stay in the States and play," adds her teammate Sabrina Ionescu. "With Stewie kind of spearheading that—is pretty amazing and knowing it's just going to create more opportunities. So obviously/y excited to continue to hear more about it—hear more about who's participating in it."

Now as to whether or not the All-Star guard will suit up for Unrivaled?

"I don't know. I enjoy my time with my husband the few months that I get with him in the offseason. So as of now, I'm not really thinking about it too much, but who knows?" Ionescu said.

"I am going to just keep telling Sab to come," the Stewart joked.

But maybe the biggest "W" of all for the reigning MVP? Getting more quality time with her MVPs.

"Being moms and having kids—being home for the holidays is something that's really important too."

Players will be housed close to the facility where the games will be held and rosters will be announced at a later date.

The group of investors funding the launch include NBA legends Carmelo Anthony and Steve Nash, USWNT star's Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, LPGA champion Michelle Wie West and veteran investor and actor Ashton Kutcher.

With the Associated Press.