ESPN announced an upcoming documentary, 144, which promises a look inside the 2020 WNBA bubble.
Named for the number of players in the Florida bubble, the film includes footage from throughout the season; one of the films co-directors spent over 60 days inside the league’s bubble last year.
From ESPN’s announcement:
ESPN Films will debut its latest documentary “144” about the unprecedented 2020 WNBA season in the bubble May 13 on ESPN. After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports, many leagues were forced to figure out how to save their seasons. The WNBA created a single site at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where 144 players across 12 teams played 147 games from July to October 2020. Directed by Lauren Stowell & Jenna Contreras, the latter who spent 62 days in the bubble, the documentary explores the season dedicated to social justice and all that the players overcame to get through it: the COVID-19 pandemic, the demands of activism, and the rigors of an unrelenting schedule.
ESPN also announced the film’s trailer will air tonight during WNBA Draft coverage. Unlike the NBA, which had played the majority of its regular season before the pandemic brought sports to a halt in March, the WNBA was forced to conduct their entire season in a bubble at the IMG Academy. Shortened to 22 games, the season began on July 25th and finished with the Seattle Storm capturing the title on October 6th.
Said Executive Producer, WNBA All-Star and ESPN Commentator Chiney Ogwumike: “Developing this documentary about my sisters in the WNBA and the powerful 2020 season has been an honor. ‘144’ amplifies the story of how our league helped create unprecedented social change while redefining how we see strong female athletes compete at the highest level. It is a privilege to showcase the 144 in their vulnerability letting cameras behind-the-scenes, their dedication to social impact, and their strength in navigating through one of the most challenging seasons we have ever had.”
144 will premiere May 13 at 9 PM Eastern, and will also be available to stream on demand via ESPN+. The 2021 WNBA season tips off May 14.