WNBA Overseas – Relationship, Salaries, Players

Last Updated on: 29th April 2024, 09:34 pm

wnba overseas

Do you ever wonder what happens to WNBA players when the season ends? Do they take a break or continue playing basketball somewhere else? Well, the answer is simple – many WNBA players head overseas to play in other leagues during their off-season.

It’s become quite common for professional women’s basketball players to play year-round in multiple leagues worldwide.

The relationship between the WNBA and overseas leagues has been an important topic of discussion among fans and analysts alike. Some argue that playing overseas can put players at risk of injury or burnout, while others believe it enhances their skills and keeps them competitive.

Regardless of which side you’re on, one thing is certain: playing overseas provides additional income for these athletes who may not earn as much in the WNBA.

So, let’s look closer at the salaries earned by WNBA players overseas and some notable players who have made a name for themselves on an international stage.

What Is The WNBA’s Relationship With Overseas Leagues?

If you’re curious about the WNBA’s relationship with overseas leagues, there are a few key points to consider.

First, many WNBA players choose to play overseas during the league’s offseason to supplement their income and gain additional experience. Popular destinations for overseas play include countries like China, Russia, and Turkey.

Finally, when scheduling international play, the WNBA typically works closely with other leagues to ensure that players can participate in domestic and foreign competitions without issue.

Why Do WNBA Players Often Play Overseas?

Many WNBA players choose to play overseas due to the significant pay gap between their salaries in the WNBA and those offered by international teams. This is because most WNBA players aren’t paid as much as their male counterparts in the NBA, making it difficult to make a living solely off their WNBA salary. As a result, many players opt to supplement their income by playing basketball overseas during the offseason.

Here are some reasons why WNBA players choose to play overseas:

  • Higher salaries: International teams often offer higher salaries than what’s available in the WNBA.
  • Increased exposure: Playing basketball overseas allows players to showcase their skills globally, potentially leading to more endorsements and sponsorships.
  • Development opportunities: Many international leagues have different play styles compared to the WNBA, allowing players to develop new skills and improve their game.
  • Job security: With only 12 teams in the league, not all talented basketball players can secure a spot on a team. Playing overseas provides job security for these athletes and allows them to earn more money.

Which Countries Are Most Popular Among WNBA Players for Overseas Play?

You might be surprised to learn that some WNBA players choose to play overseas during the league’s off-season. This is because playing in other countries allows them to continue competing at a high level while also earning more money than they would in the WNBA alone.

In addition, overseas play gives these athletes a chance to gain exposure on an international stage and compete against top-tier talent from around the world. Some of the most popular countries among WNBA players for overseas play include Russia, Turkey, China, and Australia.

These nations offer competitive basketball leagues with impressive salaries and benefits packages for foreign players. Additionally, many American athletes enjoy the opportunity to experience different cultures while living abroad and improving their game alongside talented international teammates.

Overall, playing overseas can be a valuable experience for WNBA players looking to expand their horizons both personally and professionally.

How Does the WNBA Handle Scheduling Around International Play?

Wondering how the WNBA juggles its busy schedule around international tournaments and competitions? It’s no easy task, but the league has managed to find a way to balance both domestic and overseas play for its players. The WNBA season typically runs from May to September, which coincides with many international events such as the Olympics and FIBA World Cup. To accommodate these tournaments, the league adjusts its schedule accordingly.

One approach that the WNBA takes is to have a break in play during major international events. This allows players who are selected for their respective national teams to participate without missing too many games in the WNBA season. Additionally, some players choose to skip part of the WNBA season altogether in order to focus on playing overseas or preparing for international competition. This can impact team rosters and standings, but ultimately it allows players to earn higher salaries by playing year-round.

WNBA PlayerDomestic TeamOverseas TeamCountry
Breanna StewartSeattle StormUMMC EkaterinburgRussia (RUS)
Diana TaurasiPhoenix MercuryUMMC EkaterinburgRussia (RUS)
Megan Rapinoe (guest player)Seattle Reign FCAustralia (AUS)
Marta Xargay CasademontPhoenix MercurySpar Citylift GironaSpain (ESP)

The table above shows just a few examples of WNBA players who also play overseas during their off-season. With lucrative contracts available in countries such as Russia, Turkey, and China, it’s no surprise that many players choose this option. However, scheduling around these commitments can be challenging for both players and teams alike. Nonetheless, with careful planning and flexibility from all parties involved, it is possible for WNBA stars to compete at the highest level both domestically and internationally while still earning top dollar salaries abroad.

How Much Do WNBA Players Make Overseas?

When it comes to playing overseas, WNBA players get paid significantly more than they do in their home league. This is due to a variety of factors, including the higher level of competition and larger fan bases abroad.

For many WNBA players, playing overseas during the off-season is essential to supplementing their salaries and making ends meet. However, going abroad also requires careful consideration of contract terms and potential injury risks that could impact their WNBA careers and the league’s economy as a whole.

Why Do WNBA Players Get Paid More Overseas?

If you’re curious about why WNBA players make more money playing overseas, let me tell you: it’s because they’re highly valued and sought after by international teams, making them a hot commodity in the basketball world.

In contrast to their salaries in the United States, where the maximum annual salary is $215,000 per player, many WNBA players earn six-figure salaries during their offseasons overseas. This allows them to supplement their income and extend their professional careers beyond the short WNBA season.

The demand for WNBA players abroad comes from a variety of factors. First and foremost, these players bring a high level of skill and experience to international leagues that may not have access to such talent within their own countries. Additionally, many international teams view American basketball as the gold standard and actively seek out WNBA players for their rosters.

Finally, pro basketball is simply more popular outside of the United States than it is domestically – particularly in Europe and Asia – which drives up salaries for all professional women’s basketball players who choose to play overseas during the offseason.

How Does Overseas Play Supplement WNBA Salaries?

You may be interested to know that playing basketball overseas can offer a lucrative opportunity for WNBA players looking to supplement their income during the off season. Here are three ways overseas play can help boost their salaries:

  1. Higher Pay: Many overseas leagues offer significantly higher salaries than the WNBA. For example, some European teams pay up to six-figure salaries, while the average WNBA salary is around $70,000.
  2. Longer Seasons: The WNBA season runs from May through October, leaving players with several months of no games and no pay. In contrast, many overseas seasons start in September and run through April or May, allowing players to earn a steady income year-round.
  3. Exposure: Playing overseas can also provide valuable exposure for WNBA players who want to broaden their fan base and expand their brand globally. This exposure can lead to endorsement deals and other opportunities that can further supplement their income.

Overall, playing basketball overseas offers a great opportunity for WNBA players to supplement their income during the off season while gaining valuable experience and exposure on an international stage.

What Are The Contract Considerations For WNBA Players Going Abroad?

Now that you understand how overseas play supplements WNBA salaries, let’s dive into the contract considerations for WNBA players going abroad.

For many players, choosing to play overseas is a financial decision as contracts can offer significantly higher salaries than their WNBA counterparts. When considering an overseas contract, there are several factors to take into account such as the length of the contract, amount of compensation, playing time expectations, and team culture.

It’s important for WNBA players to carefully analyze these aspects before signing on with a team abroad as it can greatly impact their career trajectory. Additionally, players must also consider any potential conflicts with their WNBA schedule and obligations.

Overall, while playing overseas can provide lucrative opportunities for WNBA players, it requires careful consideration and analysis in order to make the best decision for one’s career both financially and personally.

What Impact Does Overseas Play Have On The WNBA’s Economy?

Imagine the ripple effect that occurs when WNBA athletes play professionally overseas during their off season. While many players are able to earn higher salaries and gain valuable experience playing in other countries, their absence from the WNBA can have a significant impact on the league’s economy.

When top players choose to play overseas instead of staying in the US for the entire year, it can lead to a decrease in ticket sales and viewership for the WNBA. This is because fans may not feel as invested in teams that are missing key players during parts of the season. Additionally, without these star players on the court, merchandise sales and sponsorships may also suffer.

However, it’s important to note that some argue overseas play actually helps grow interest in women’s basketball overall by giving fans an opportunity to see these athletes compete at a high level year-round. Ultimately, while there may be some negative effects on the WNBA’s economy due to player participation in overseas leagues, there are also potential benefits that cannot be ignored.

Some Of Our Favorite Players

As we eagerly anticipate the upcoming WNBA season, reminiscing about some of our favorite players brings back memories of their impressive performances on the court.

One player who has made a significant impact in both the WNBA and overseas is Brittney Griner. Her dominant presence in the paint has earned her multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards and All-Star selections. Griner has also played overseas during the WNBA offseason, where she continues to showcase her skills and earn a higher salary.

Another fan favorite is Diana Taurasi, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Taurasi’s accomplishments include four Olympic gold medals and three WNBA championships with the Phoenix Mercury. Like Griner, Taurasi also plays overseas during the off season, allowing her to further develop her game while earning a higher salary than what she would receive playing solely in the WNBA.

These two players are just a few examples of how playing overseas can benefit both individual players and women’s basketball as a whole. Some others are Chelsea Gray, Erlana Larkins, Linsday Harding, Reshanda Gray, Tayler Hill, Angel McCoughtry, Jewell Loyd, Kia Vaughn, Odyssey Sims, Moriah Jefferson, Stefanie Dolson, Sylvia Fowles, Kristi Toliver, Renee Montgomery, Candice Dupree, Jasmine Thomas, Crystal Langhorne, Jantel Lavender, etc.


So now you know the ins and outs of the WNBA’s relationship with overseas leagues, as well as how much their players can make while playing abroad.

But let’s not forget about some of our favorite WNBA stars who have made a name for themselves internationally. Players like Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, and Breanna Stewart have all found success overseas during the WNBA offseason.

In fact, Taurasi has won multiple championships in Russia and is considered one of the best international players of all time. It just goes to show that these athletes truly are world-class talents, capable of dominating on any court they step onto.

Overall, the relationship between the WNBA and overseas leagues provides opportunities for players to continue playing year-round and earn more money in the process. And while it may be tough for fans to see their favorite players leave for months at a time, it only adds to their already impressive resumes and showcases just how talented they truly are.