Hours ahead of Monday night’s 2024 WNBA Draft, Serena Williams says she’d be “super interested” in expanding her portfolio to include a team in the American women’s basketball league.

“I think with the right market, I think would definitely be super interested in that,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who retired from tennis in 2022, told CNN in an exclusive interview to discuss the current climate surrounding women’s sports.

Williams developed keen business acumen during her career that spanned three decades on the Hologic WTA Tour. She launched a venture capital company — Serena Ventures — while still on tour in 2017, and already has an ownership stake in a National Women’s Soccer League team, Angel City FC based in Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Golf Club.

Per CNN, Serena Ventures has focused on underrepresented entrepreneurs: 78% of the startups in which the firm had invested were started by women and people of color. That perspective is what makes women’s sports an exciting investment opportunity, she says.

“There is no risk (factor),” she said. “Women’s sport is exciting, women are exciting to watch. What’s the difference? …  I think that even more people watched the college women’s basketball than the men. So I think that people are realizing that is exciting to watch.”

University of Iowa star Caitlin Clark, who broke the NCAA’s all-time scoring record in her senior season for the Hawkeyes, is expected to be the No. 1 pick in Monday night’s WNBA draft. Williams said that Clark’s transcendent season — which helped the women’s tournament out-draw the men’s in championship viewership — was just the latest addition to the snowballing “moment” that women’s sports across the globe are currently experiencing.

Other sports should take cues from the trailblazing five-decade history of the WTA as an example, she adds. Women’s tennis has historically been the highest-paying sport for women in the world. In 2023, nine of the 10 highest-paid female athletes were WTA players, according to Forbes.

“I think the moment’s been happening, we just needed the right catalyst and the right people. … I think women’s sport is having a moment that it should’ve always had,” she said.

“I feel like tennis has had its moment. It’s international and it’s huge and it’s always going to be there, and it’s time to lift up other sports. … Let’s put it on that platform that tennis is on.”

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Source: https://www.wtatennis.com/news/3969483/serena-williams-would-be-super-interested-in-owning-a-wnba-team

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