Some early validation for Michael Alter’s optimism

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Tonight, the Sky go up against the Seattle Storm on ESPN2. It’s one of three nationally broadcast games for Chicago’s WNBA team this season, under a new league-wide TV deal that excited Sky owner Michael Alter when we discussed it in April.

Alter’s pre-season optimism for the team and the business centered on rookie Elena Delle Donne. With a third of the regular season in the can, she’s made good. The second over-all draft pick is leading her draft class in scoring (19.5 points per game) and percentage from the free-throw line (an outrageous .947 — Kevin Durant led the NBA’s last regular season with .905 from the charity line).

I started following the Sky to write a profile of Alter, which ran in the most recent issue of Grid. But I’m hooked on women’s basketball now. In North Carolina, where I grew up, team-oriented college ball was king. I’ve never quite gotten used to the flow of NBA games, which often pivot on obscene levels of individual talent. WNBA games still have world-class talent, but the focus on strategy and teamwork is closer to the basketball I was raised on.

Tonight’s game airs at 7 pm on ESPN2. The Sky, who’ve yet to finish a season over .500, are defending a .700 record.

Read the full profile of Sky owner Michael Alter on Grid.

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