NEW YORK, July 12 --
For WNBA players, making it to the All-Star Game takes years of hard work on the basketball court. But for Ellen Berkowitz of Old Bethpage, New York and Lisa Collins of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, all it took was a little luck.
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Winner Lisa Collins, her son Jacob and her aunt Karan Bias got to meet Dawn Staley at an All-Star reception on Friday.
As the winner of this year's WNBA All-Star Balloting Sweepstakes, Collins won a trip for four to the All-Star Game in New York City. Collins entered the sweepstakes when she cast her ballot at a Charlotte Sting game earlier this season. She had just moved there, and it was the first game she'd attended.
The All-Star trip also brought other firsts for Collins, who had never been to New York before. Collins took advantage of this year's All-Star host city, taking in the Empire State Building and other sights while she was in town.
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As the winner of the WNBA and ESPN Father's Day Sweepstakes, Berkowitz got a trip for two to this year's All-Star Game in New York City. WNBA.com caught up with Berkowitz and her husband Gary during the second half of the game to find out what their All-Star appearance had been like.
How did you enter the sweepstakes?
Every once in a while I go to the web site and I happened to see the contest and I just entered it. It's just luck that I won it.
When did you find out that you had won?
A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail [letting me know I'd won].
Had you ever been to a WNBA game before today?
I've been to NBA, but not WNBA.
How do you like it so far?
Very exciting. I'm really enjoying it.
What have you been doing today?
We woke up in the morning and we went to the ESPN Zone restaurant. We were treated very well, it was very, very nice. My two daughters came with us. And then we went over to the broadcast booth at the Garden and we met with the people from ESPN and she took us on a wonderful tour of everything. And we really enjoyed it. We got to meet a couple of players and had our pictures taken with them, it was very exciting.
So this is your first game, do you think you'll come back?
Absolutely, absolutely... It's been very, very exciting. We've enjoyed it.
Gary, how are you enjoying yourself?
Fantastic. I've enjoyed the entire day. I thought it was very exciting with the tour, getting to see behind the scenes, how production was put together for this event. It's fantastic. It was great meeting some of the players and getting an opportunity to actually take pictures.