The start of the WNBA season appears to be going smoothly, despite the obstacles the league might face during the coronavirus pandemic. The bubble environment at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, is holding up amid increased interest in women’s basketball.

Regular-season games began Saturday with all 12 teams debuting this past weekend. With ABC’s season opener drawing its best viewership in eight years to go along with strong cable ratings, an additional 13 national television broadcasts were added to the ESPN Networks’ coverage.

It only took a few days for one player to make history inside the bubble. Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles grabbed 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s game against the Seattle Storm to become the WNBA's all-time leading rebounder.

“I'm really proud of Syl,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve told reporters. “I got to be part of so many of those rebounds. Just the relentlessness they both play with ... this has been invaluable to our franchise.”

Two of the league’s top young talents are getting ready to make their WNBA debuts. Lauren Cox of the Indiana Fever is now able to participate in the team’s shootaround and the New York Liberty’s Megan Walker has been activated for Wednesday’s matchup with the Dallas Wings. Both players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.

Only two players have tested positive for the coronavirus since arriving inside the bubble.

Seattle, a preseason favorite, is one of three teams that have started the season with wins in their first two games. Each team is scheduled to play 22 regular-season games before an eight-team playoff.

Before the start of the season was delayed in April, teams were scheduled to play a 36-game season.

The WNBA has dedicated the 2020 season to social justice. The league’s Social Justice Council has a mission to continue conversations about race, voting rights, LGBTQ+ advocacy and other societal issues.

Natasha Cloud Washington Mystics WNBA
Natasha Cloud #9 of the Washington Mystics celebrates against the Connecticut Sun during Game 5 of the 2019 WNBA Finals at St Elizabeths East Entertainment & Sports Arena on October 10, 2019 in Washington, DC.