Women’s basketball inspires

Two Atlanta Dream basketball players smile and high-five.

We’re inspiring the next generation of Game Changers on and off the court by connecting STEM with basketball, revealing the many career opportunities for girls in sports on the court and beyond.

We’re inspiring enhanced performance through data analytics and the power of technology to understand the details of the game, and what it takes to power basketball through team and player conditioning.

We’re inspiring a deeper look at player impact in the game. The WNBA uses Microsoft Azure to analyze numbers with Crunch Time, rating performance in the last minutes of the final quarter when every shot, 3-pointer, block, rebound, and assist makes the difference in win probability.

Inspiring the next generation

Microsoft is partnering across the league with players and teams to inspire the next generation of women, showing how skills in STEM come to life in basketball and can help make careers across sports and beyond come to life.

Atlanta Dream

The Atlanta Dream has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its first 15 seasons, reaching the finals three times, since their first WNBA season in 2008. Their hard work has paid off. The 2022 season was big for the development of the franchise, beginning a multi-year partnership with Microsoft, getting up and running with Surface devices, Azure, Dynamics, and Power BI. The Atlanta Dream is also using these tools to empower the girls and women of Atlanta.

The Atlanta Dream’s ‘Power Her Dreams’ basketball clinics teach STEM concepts to girls through basketball, inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM. The partnership believes that investing in and empowering young women will lead to more connected communities. Participants receive lessons connecting STEM topics like gravity, friction, and coding with basketball led by the Atlanta Dream team. They also are treated to surprise appearances and autograph signings from Dream players and coaches.

Along with the clinics, the Atlanta Dream stepped up to inspire participants at Digi Girlz Dream Big Day to life at Microsoft’s The Garage at Atlantic Yards. For the first time, 32 girls from local TEALS schools learned about technology careers, made something fun, and saw technology in action. Each Digi Girlz day involves hands-on activities like making games or apps, exploring the hottest new tech, and Q&A sessions with seasoned pros.

Connecticut Sun

The Connecticut Sun have reached the WNBA Finals four times since being established in 2003, and are dedicated to showcasing the players and team as role models for youth on and off the court. Sharing their passion for technology, the Sun’s S.T.E.A.M. event for kids and their families offers a way to experience all aspects of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) in an interactive, exciting, and educational way. Introducing attendees to ideas and people in S.T.E.A.M. fields that may be overlooked in traditional school systems connects them with limitless possibilities.

Connecticut Sun basketball players walk away from the camera as one of their team members looks at them and appears to yell in celebration.
Having the ability to not only foster the excitement our young fans already have for basketball, but also to encourage them to try new things, explore other interests, and seek different perspectives within the realm of basketball and beyond is truly special. We are grateful to have wonderful partners, like Microsoft, who share our values.
Morgan Tuck
Director of Franchise Development

Minnesota Lynx

The Minnesota Lynx have won four WNBA titles, making them one of the most successful franchises in the league. Off the court, the Lynx are dedicated to the local community in the twin cities. Kicking off the season, they celebrated STEM Fest encouraging youth to get involved with science, technology, engineering, and math.


The Jr. NBA and Microsoft have partnered to teach STEM concepts through basketball skills. The resources below include a series of activities that connect science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to basketball, showing participants that STEM exists everywhere in sports. These activities include a special camp as part of the WNBA All Star weekend activities.

The goal is to inspire students to consider future education or careers in STEM fields. The content and activities are designed to be used during youth basketball clinics or activity programs and are geared towards participants in two age groups: 6-8 and 9-11.

Inspiring role models

A’ja Wilson sits next to a young girl and smiles as they look at a Surface device.

A’ja Wilson

Dyslexia hasn’t stopped A’ja Wilson. Few things can curb the spirit of a WNBA 1st overall draft pick, 2x WNBA MVP, 4x WNBA All-Star, WNBA champion, and Olympic gold medalist. But it wasn’t always easy. As a teenager, she learned she had dyslexia—one of the most common learning disabilities in the world, and one she saw as a weakness best kept secret. As A’ja became a college basketball phenom, she realized she was ready to reveal her full self and help others do the same.

That’s why A’ja and her parents started the A’ja Wilson Foundation. The nonprofit’s mission is two-fold, serving as a resource for children and their families struggling with dyslexia by providing education programming, workshops, camps, and grants. It also focuses on changing student culture by fostering inclusivity and compassion at school. Microsoft is working with the star to help educators and students in the classroom make the most of tools like Immersive Reader in Microsoft 365 and raise awareness for dyslexia.

Jewell Lloyd

As a WNBA 1st overall draft pick, Jewell Lloyd’s basketball skills are no secret. Her love for studying the numbers has contributed to her success. Power BI makes it easy for her to improve her game with visual aids, statistics, and tech in the dashboard. From defensive stats to figuring out where on the court her least accurate shots originate, Jewell studies it all.

Jewell is using data to stay consistent and efficient as her game evolves. Continued growth is what’s next for the 2x WNBA champion, 4x WNBA all-star, and Olympic gold medalist. Microsoft shares her love for data, and is working with her to inspire girls and women in the game and off the court in creative ways.

Inspiring a deeper analysis

Moments matter in a basketball game, where split-second decisions can mean winning or losing. WNBA Crunch Time is quantifying game-changing moments when it matters most.

The WNBA uses Microsoft Azure to powerfully analyze the numbers that make a game and create a Crunch Time player performance rating. In the last minutes of the final quarter when every shot, steal, block, rebound, and assist make the difference in a win probability, Crunch Time leverages the right statistics.

When the game is on the line, every play matters. A made free throw, crucial steal, timely assist, critical rebound, or forcing a turnover can be the difference in winning a game. Crunch Time factors in the entirety of these plays to calculate an individual player’s unique performance rating, going beyond surface-level analysis. By considering every box score factor that contributes to winning a game, a comprehensive Crunch Time rating showcases the true impact a player has on edging their team to victory.