Connecticut Women’s Basketball League Provides Opportunities For Female Athletes – NBC Connecticut

Connecticut and women’s basketball seem to go hand in hand.

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

“We were waiting and waiting, and I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to do this because I want to perform and I know a lot of other women are doing it too,'” Karlee Alves said.

She played college basketball at Merrimack College and professionally in Ireland, but when she returned to Connecticut, she realized her options to continue playing were limited and she was not alone.

“There’s so many leagues of guys like you can really go to any city and you’ll find a place to play,” said Lizzy Cretella, who played college basketball at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Alves travels 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?'” Cretella said.

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

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

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

“She was shouting at the girls, giving them advice on certain pieces, she was getting people excited, encouraging everyone,” Cretella said. “So it was really cool to show everyone like, we’re a women’s league but we’re really taking off.”

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

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

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