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Rookies Lift Interest In WNBA

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Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury dunks against the Chicago Sky on May 27, 2013 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (credit: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury dunks against the Chicago Sky on May 27, 2013 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (credit: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) - Midway through their first WNBA season, Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins are already leaving their mark — on and off the court.

They are helping the league boost viewership, attendance and merchandise sales.

Television household ratings have doubled on ESPN2 as compared with last season. The three rookies were all featured in a Memorial Day doubleheader to start the season, and the game pitting Griner against Delle Donne drew the league’s highest regular-season ratings in nine years.

There’s also been a huge upswing in merchandise sales this season, with Chicago, Phoenix and Tulsa leading the way. To no surprise, the three rookies are the league’s top selling jerseys, with Griner at No. 1.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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