Connecticut Women's Basketball League Offers Opportunities for Female Athletes

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Connecticut and women’s basketball seem to go together.

There’s the UConn Huskies’ 11 national titles and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. But if you’re not one of the 144 women’s basketball players selected to play in the WNBA, options for post-college play can be hard to find.

“We were waiting and waiting, and I was just like, ‘You know what, like I’m going to do this because I want to play and I know a lot of other females do, too,’” said Karlee Alves.

She played college basketball at Merrimack College and professionally in Ireland, but when she returned to Connecticut she realized her options to keep playing were limited, and she wasn’t alone.

“There are so many guys leagues like you really can go any town and you'll find somewhere to play,” said Lizzy Cretella, who played college basketball at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Alves drives to Springfield, Mass. to play in a women’s league and she and Cretella thought there had to be a better option.

“So, we were like ‘Why don't we start our own?’” said Cretella.

They got to work on creating the Connecticut Women’s Basketball League. Within three weeks, they had 10 teams and 100 players.

“All of a sudden it just kept like, back to back to back, we filled up in three weeks,” said Alves.

They even got a visit from Connecticut Sun guard Courtney Williams.

“She was yelling to the girls, giving them advice on some plays, she was hyping people up, cheering for everyone,” said Cretella. “So that was really cool to just show off to everyone like, we are a women's league but we are really taking off.”

“I just know a lot of basketball players in general, older than me, younger than me, my age,” said Alves. “For me to just sit back and watch just nothing happen for us it was just sort of sad. ... I wanted to give women the opportunity to not only just play but play competitively.”

You can learn more about the CWBL including the upcoming schedule and future opportunities here.

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