NEW YORK, July 7 - Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes was the top vote-getter after final returns of fan votes cast in the WNBA All-Star Balloting Program Presented by Yahoo!® Sports. Swoopes, who topped fan balloting for the Inaugural WNBA All-Star Game in 1999 and again in 2000, will be starting in her third All-Star Game. She will receive a “Top Vote Getter” trophy and a check for $10,000 to the Sheryl Swoopes Foundation for Youth at a ceremony prior to this year’s game.

Voting on WNBA.com eclipsed the previous All-Star record by more than 32 percent, with more than one million online votes received. The new record represents the first time All-Star voting on WNBA.com has surpassed the one million mark.

Starters for the 2002 WNBA All-Star Game, to be played at MCI Center in Washington, D.C., on Monday, July 15, were determined by fans. Balloting was conducted online at wnba.com and sports.yahoo.com, in all 16 WNBA arenas and in other venues, including ESPN Zones nationwide, the NBA Store and NBA City.

Swoopes, who received 97,631 votes, will be joined in the Western Conference starting lineup by Houston teammate Tina Thompson (75,332) at forward, Los Angeles’ Lisa Leslie (74,156) at center, and Seattle’s Sue Bird (70,026) and Ticha Penicheiro (61,926) at guard.

Washington Mystics forward Chamique Holdsclaw (89,381) received the most votes among Eastern Conference players. She will be joined in the starting lineup by Indiana’s Tamika Catchings (69,827) at forward, New York’s Tari Phillips (74,156) at center, and the Liberty’s Teresa Weatherspoon (80,973) and Charlotte’s Dawn Staley (56,993) at guard.

The roster includes three players making their first appearance in the All-Star starting lineup -- Staley, Catchings and Bird. The other starting spots are filled by veterans who will be making repeat appearances, including:

PlayerPrevious Years Voted to Starting Lineup
Chamique Holdsclaw 1999, 2000, 2001
Tina Thompson 1999, 2000, 2001
Teresa Weatherspoon 1999, 2000, 2001
Lisa Leslie 1999, 2000
Sheryl Swoopes 1999, 2000
Ticha Penicheiro 2000, 2001
Tari Phillips 2001

Each conference’s eight head coaches will select the remaining All-Star players, with the reserves to be announced on Wednesday, July 10. Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Sparks and Anne Donovan of the Charlotte Sting will coach the Western Conference and Eastern Conference All-Stars, respectively.

The 2002 WNBA All-Star Game will be televised nationally on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on July 15. Fans may purchase tickets to the game by calling 1-800-551-SEAT, through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at WNBA.com and ticketmaster.com, and at the MCI Center box office. Ticket prices start at $10.