Serena Williams 'super interested' in investing in WNBA team

Serena Williams has already invested in multiple sports ventures in Los Angeles. (Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)
Serena Williams has already invested in multiple sports ventures in Los Angeles. (Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

The rise of women's basketball has caught the attention of Serena Williams.

The tennis legend and 23-time Grand Slam champion says she's willing to put her money behind the sport.

In an interview with CNN published Monday ahead of the WNBA Draft, Williams said she "absolutely" would be interested in investing in a WNBA team.

"I absolutely would be," Williams said. "With the right market, I would definitely be super interested in that."

Williams earned roughly $95 million in prize money during her tennis career, and Forbes estimates her net worth at $290 million. She and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, have used their wealth to invest in multiple sports ventures, including Angel City FC of the National Women's Soccer League and the Los Angeles Golf Club, a franchise of the TGL developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

Williams didn't discuss specific interests for investing in the WNBA. The league announced in 2023 that it's expanding to the Bay Area alongside the Golden State Warriors, with a team scheduled to debut in 2025. WNBA commissioner Cathy Englebert said before the draft Monday that the goal is to expand the league from 12 to 16 teams by 2028. The Bay Area franchise will be the league's 13th.

Williams and Ohanian have previously focused their investing efforts in Los Angeles-area franchises, and the WNBA already has an L.A. franchise in the Sparks. It wasn't clear from Williams' interview what "the right market" would entail, but she sounds ready to jump at the opportunity.

"I think women’s sport is having a moment that it should have always had," Williams said. "I feel like tennis has had its moment. It’s international, and it’s huge, and it’s always gonna be there.

"Now it’s time to lift up other sports — women’s soccer, women’s basketball. There’s so many other sports that women do so great. Let’s put it on that platform that tennis is on. Women’s basketball is getting there, and it’s arrived."

When asked about the potential risks of investing in women's basketball, Williams cited the recent NCAA tournaments that saw more viewers tune in to the women's national championship between Iowa and South Carolina than the men's final between UConn and Purdue.

“There is no risk,” Williams said. “Women’s sport is exciting, women are exciting to watch. … It’s an overly safe bet when it comes to investing."