March 22, 2023 

As second season of Athletes Unlimited Basketball winds down, competition heats up

Who can take home the big prize?

DALLAS — The final week of the Athletes Unlimited Basketball (AU) begins March 22 and the players have three more games to secure their spots on the leaderboard. Guard Odyssey Sims has been No. 1 on the leaderboard four out of the five weeks. She currently has 5637 points. 6’4 forward NaLyssa Smith has a chance to steal the top spot with 5163 points.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

Now is the time where the team play matters a little bit more that individual player as more points are earned. It will have the biggest effect on the top 10 players. Based off of the scoring system for AU, whichever team wins the quarter get 50 points for and 150 if the team wins. Individually, they would just have to player a clean game and be sure to make each offensive possession count.

Medals will be awarded to the athletes that finish in the top four on the leaderboard. There will also be awards for Defensive Player of the Year and Teammate of the Year. Currently, the top four players are the captains for the final week.

The Next, a 24/7/365 women’s basketball newsroom

The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff and dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.

Week 5 Captains

Sims celebrates during Game 20 at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, TX. Credit: Jade Hewitt, Athletes Unlimited

Team Sims (Gold): Sims has been the captain of Team Gold since week two. Her teams finished each week with a 2-1 record. If her team came do the same in the final week, she will most likely finish the season No. 1. The team wins will have to be accomplished without her leading guard Jordin Canada, who was stolen by Smith in the draft.

Smith attempts a shot in Game 13 at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, TX. Credit: Jade Hewitt, Athletes Unlimited

Team Smith (Orange): The former Baylor standout is a captain for the fourth straight week. Her only losing week as captain was week four, going 1-2. Team Smith could not stop the comeback of Team Sims losing the game, 102-101, to close out week 4. She will be playing to hold on to second place, as there is a 474 point difference between her and Sims.

Hillmon led her team to a 103-96 victory in Game 17 at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, TX. Credit: Jade Hewitt, Athletes Unlimited

Team Hillmon (Blue): Naz Hillmon has been leading her teams as captain since the second week of the season. When she took over the Team Purple in week two, she led the team to a winning record after the team’s 0-3 opening weekend.

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

Harrison attempts a shot in Game 14 at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, TX. Credit: Jade Hewitt, Athletes Unlimited

Team Harrison (Purple): Isabelle Harrison finished No. 3 and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors last season. She returns as captain for the week 5 of this season with a 7-8 record as captain. She may hold on, but it will not be easy with everyone gunning for the top.

‘Every Moment Counts’

Only 200 points separate Hillmon and Harrison as No. 3 and 4 on the leaderboard. There is a 808-point difference between the fourth and ten spots. The athletes have put on a clinic throughout the season. It also showcased the competitive nature of the players with heated exchanges and close games. They will have to be mindful of their mistakes. A foul, turnover, missed free throws or quarter and game losses from their teams will be the difference makers.

All games can be viewed on WNBA League Pass.

Written by Arie Graham

Arie Graham joined 'The Next' in May 2021 as the beat writer for the Dallas Wings.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.