On Saturday, Athletes Unlimited Basketball wrapped up its inaugural season with a triple-overtime nail-bitter, a clash between Team Hawkins and Team Cloud featured the top two leaders in Tianna Hawkins and Natasha Cloud. Cloud and Hawkins were former teammates of the Washington Mystics, where they won a Championship title in 2019. Tianna Hawkins willed her team to a 116-108 win over Team Cloud, securing Hawkins the inaugural Athletes Unlimited Championship title. Hawkins finished first on the AU leaderboard with a total of 6,831 points, she also notched a league-high 11 double-doubles, 3,336 stat points and 750 MVP points. Coming off an emotional roller-coaster, Tianna Hawkins has taken a bold step in an attempt to prove herself. Last season, Tianna Hawkins was waived by the Atlanta Dream. Hawkins used that as fuel to power through the outstanding AU season as she was crowned the Inaugural season Champion.
“So many people have counted me out, so many people said I was trash. Atlanta said I was not going to be enough. And what i did? I took my ass to the gym and worked on myself, and now here I am. – Tianna Hawkins (Washington Mystics/WNBA)
The Washington Mystics Forward celebrated her Championship title with an inspirational speech that moved the building, highlighting the emotional journey it has been. Hawkins adds this Championship to her collection of hardware that includes a 2019 WNBA Championship title won alongside teammate Natasha Cloud who earned the second-place finish with 5,919 points. Behind Hawkins and Cloud, was Dallas Wings’ Isabelle Harrison, and the 2021 WNBA Champion Lexie Brown. 11 of the 44 athletes in the AU hailed from the WNBA and the league will aim to get 20 additional players for the 2023 season. In just its first season, Athletes Unlimited has set the professional sports world on fire, leaving no stones unturned. Athletes Unlimited CEO Jon Patricof has exceeded expectations as the AU Basketball league provides more basketball opportunities within the U.S.