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WNBA gets better fit with new uniforms

NEW YORK (AP) WNBA uniforms are getting an upgrade this year thanks to the league's new partnership with Nike.


Players spent the better part of the last year working with the apparel company designing a uniform that focused on movements unique to women's basketball players.

''They fit really nice, from that perspective for the athletes in the league it's going to feel really good, too,'' Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird told The Associated Press.

''I think all the players at some point met with their Nike reps. They took feedback with what we like and didn't like. One thing we really stressed was the neck line and not having our sports bras show. This is the best one as far as keeping the sports bra in.''

The league and Nike tested the uniforms to make sure there would be no wardrobe malfunctions, like what happened opening night in the NBA when LeBron James' jersey ripped down the back.

''This fabric is a closed-hole mesh so it's stronger,'' said Keri Lenker, the NBA's senior manager for identity, outfitting and equipment. We've definitely made some changes.''

Nike also changed from alpha-sizing - think small, medium, large - to numerical sizing to offer more choices.

''Last spring we went out and were able to size the athletes and teams could place orders based on that,'' Lenker said. ''It gives the players more options to choose from.''

The new uniforms will come in two editions for now, the Icon and Statement. More will be on the way later in the season.

One uniform feature is a small silver patch on the back, below the neck, showing the number of championships a team has won.

''It's great. The WNBA is getting to a point in its life where teams have history and teams are developing legacies,'' Bird said. ''There's no better way in showing it off then how many championships we won.''

Fans can start buying jerseys and other new apparel starting May 13 at the WNBA store online.


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