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When Does Basketball Season Start?

It’s August. The Olympics just finished, and you’re already hungry for more basketball. So your mind jumps immediately to the all-important question: when does basketball season start?

Well, that’s a bit tricky. Truly, basketball season never ends. The game is generally seen as a winter sport, because that’s when most of the world’s professional and college leagues play, but the WNBA and other events like The Basketball Tournament and occasion Olympics or FIBA competition offer hoops in the summer months, too.

So, we’ll go through when a number of different leagues will start up again, moving in chronological order.

When Does Basketball Season Start?


The WNBA is about halfway through its season, but the league has been on a break since July 14 because of the Olympics. Its regular season will resume Sunday, Aug. 15 with six games. The Seattle Storm will head to Wintrust Arena to take on the Chicago Sky at 4 p.m. EST on ABC, and the Atlanta Dream and Phoenix Mercury will meet in Arizona at 6 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network in the day’s other nationally-televised contest.

Before the regular season starts again, though, the final of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup will be held on Thursday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. EST in Phoenix between the Connecticut Sun and Storm, each representing the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, respectively, in the inaugural championship of the league’s new bonus event. The game will stream live on Amazon Prime.


The NBA will begin its regular season Tuesday, Oct. 19. The season’s gauntlet has not yet been set, but it should be out in the next several days. This post will be updated to highlight the first games of the 2021-22 NBA season once the matchups are known.

Men’s Division I College Basketball

The men’s DI season will tip off Tuesday, Nov. 9. There will be a handful of games played that day, but the premier matchups will come from the Champions Classic that fans have come to expect at the opening of the campaign.

The doubleheader will feature Duke versus Kentucky and Kansas against Michigan State, with both games played at Madison Square Garden, returning to New York after COVID-19 forced the 2020 Champions Classic to be contested separately in Durham, North Carolina, and Indianapolis.

Women’s Division I College Basketball

There doesn’t appear to be a full schedule out for when women’s DI hoops will restart, but it generally has the same start date as the men, so I’d suspect you’ll be able to catch some games on Tuesday, Nov. 9. This will be updated with more certainty when possible.

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