Team will recognize outstanding women in business, sports, philanthropy and public service through season-long initiative

With the 2020 WNBA season set to begin Saturday, the Valley’s only professional women’s sports team, the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury, today tipped off a season-long campaign designed to honor women making a difference in sports, philanthropy, business or public service – BELIEVE IN WOMEN brought to you by Fry’s Food Stores.  The initiative, which began in 2019, involved the Mercury inviting deserving honorees to home games to tell their respective stories to the X-Factor during a timeout.   This year, with the WNBA season played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl., the storytelling will be done through a video series on Mercury social channels and a dedicated website at

The Mercury is proud to team up with Fry’s Food Stores, a longtime team partner and local leader in corporate philanthropy, whose president, Monica Garnes, was the first-ever honoree in 2019. Garnes tipped-off a list of outstanding individuals last season that included two-time NCAA champion and former Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw, Phoenix native and USA Gymnastics National Team Member Jade Carey, Special Olympian Amy Bockerstette and other deserving women who are making a difference in their communities and for women and girls across the country.

As the upcoming WNBA season relocates to Florida for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team will recognize a host of honorees, culminating in the team’s annual Women of Inspiration celebration.  The WNBA has always stood for more than basketball – it’s about diversity, inclusion, widening the circle of acceptance and participation, and uplifting the stories of women who are impacting the country on and off the court. The team will use its game broadcasts, social media feeds, and website to honor these deserving women.

The Phoenix Mercury return this summer in search of a league-record tying fourth WNBA title at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, the Official Home of the 2020 WNBA Season. Led by the All-Star trio of Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith, the Mercury open its title quest on July 25 against the Los Angeles Sparks at 12 p.m. PT on ABC. While the surroundings may be unfamiliar and the stands may be empty, this moment and this season is #4TheValley. For more information, visit