WNBA uniforms designed to stay cool

NEW YORK -- The WNBA will be using new uniforms in its 15th season, jerseys designed to be lighter and dry faster to keep players more comfortable.

The uniforms unveiled Thursday feature numbers on the fronts and backs of jerseys made of a breathable mesh instead of the denser fabric. The uniforms are 30 percent lighter and made of a material intended to dry twice as fast.

Designed by adidas, the uniforms were used by 11 NCAA women's teams this past season, including Tennessee, Notre Dame, UCLA and national champion Texas A&M.

The Washington Mystics showed off a new jersey of red, navy, silver and white on Thursday, part of owner Ted Leonsis' plan to make red the dominant color for all three of his sports teams. The NHL's Capitals already "Rock the Red," as the slogan goes, and the NBA's Wizards plan to make the switch to red, white and blue next season.

The Mystics' jerseys also will carry the name and logo of Inova Health System, a partnership for a team trying to make ends meet. In the offseason, Mystics owner Sheila Johnson cut ties with a successful coach (Julie Plank) and general manager (Angela Taylor) so they could combine jobs in a money-saving move, resulting in the hiring of Trudi Lacey.

The Mystics, who were a franchise-best 22-12 in the 2010 regular season, also plan to work with Inova to combat childhood obesity.

The Los Angeles Sparks' jersey will feature the team's presenting partner, Farmers Insurance, in bolder print. The new uniforms also will have adidas' three stripes along the sides.

"As competitors, we want every advantage we can to play our best on the court," said Sparks star Candace Parker, who will return to the court after sitting out most of last season with a shoulder injury.

The WNBA season begins June 3, when the Sparks host the Minnesota Lynx at Staples Center.