-- All-Star Veterans and Newcomers to be Showcased at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, July 12--

-- Rookies Augustus, Pondexter and Young to make All-Star debuts for Western Conference --

NEW YORK (JULY 8, 2006), - The 2006 WNBA All-Star rosters have been finalized, it was announced today by the League. Eastern and Western head coaches selected the players who will round out the 2006 WNBA All-Star teams. The game will showcase the league's stars ranging from savvy veterans like the Los Angeles Sparks' Lisa Leslie, Detroit's Katie Smith and Phoenix's Diana Taurasi to the All-Star debuts of three rookies, Minnesota's Seimone Augustus, Phoenix's Cappie Pondexter and San Antonio's Sophia Young. Following are the player additions for the Western and Eastern Conferences for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game Presented by Vonage:

Eastern Conference Additions:
Alana Beard (Washington Mystics) Guard/Forward
Katie Douglas (Connecticut Sun) Guard/Forward
Cheryl Ford (Detroit Shock) Center
Deanna Nolan (Detroit Shock) Guard/Forward
Katie Smith (Detroit Shock) Guard
Tamika Whitmore (Indiana Fever) Forward
 Western Conference Additions:
Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) Forward
Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks) Center
Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury) Guard
Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) Guard
Tina Thompson (Houston Comets) Forward
Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars) Forward

About the Eastern Conference Additions:

· Washington’s Alana Beard is making her second All-Star appearance and ranks sixth in the WNBA this season with 18.7 points per game. Beard was averaging over 20 points per game until spraining her right ankle in the first quarter on July 1 vs. Los Angeles.
· In her sixth WNBA season, Connecticut’s Katie Douglas earns her first All-Star appearance and is enjoying her finest season with 15.9 points per game, 1.9 steals per game while shooting .480 from the field and .467 from three-point range.
· Detroit’s Cheryl Ford, making her third All-Star appearance, leads the league with 11.8 rebounds per game while teammates Deanna Nolan and Katie Smith have also been selected. Nolan, averaging 13.3 points per game and 3.7 assists per game, also earns her third All-Star appearance. Smith will make her sixth overall All-Star appearance, but first for the Eastern Conference. Acquired in a midseason trade with the Minnesota Lynx in 2005, Smith is posting 11.9 points per game this year.
· Tamika Whitmore, in her eighth WNBA season, will make her first All-Star appearance as the leading scorer of the Indiana Fever with 16.3 points per game.

About the Western Conference Additions:

· Three rookies will make their WNBA All-Star debuts, marking the first time in league history that three players directly out of college and in their first year of professional basketball have been named as All-Stars. Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus, the top pick in this year’s draft, is tied for first in the league with 22.7 points per game. Phoenix’s Cappie Pondexter also posts 22.7 points per game and recently recorded a rookie record by scoring 35 points vs. Detroit. San Antonio’s Sophia Young is posting 11.4 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game in 2006.
· Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi ranks third in the league in scoring at 22.2 points per game and will make her second All-Star appearance.
· Houston’s Tina Thompson earns her sixth All-Star appearance and posts 17.1 points per game.
· Los Angeles’ Lisa Leslie, a three-time All-Star MVP, has been named an All-Star every year the game has been played along with Nykesha Sales. Leslie is averaging 20.6 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game for the top team in the Western Conference.
(statistics based on games played through Friday, July 7)

By virtue of their teams’ respective conference championships in 2005, Connecticut’s Mike Thibault will coach the East All-Stars and Sacramento’s John Whisenant will guide the West All-Stars.

The 2006 WNBA All-Star Game Presented by Vonage will be hosted by the New York Liberty on Wednesday, July 12 at Madison Square Garden and will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7:20 p.m. EDT. ESPN's pregame show, WNBA Shootaround, begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT.
In addition, the game will be seen in a record 198 countries around the globe with commentary in 33 languages via 57 telecasters. This year's record global television distribution breaks last year's reach of 193 countries through 52 telecasters in 31 languages. The following telecasters will televise the game for the first time: Bahamas (NBA TV-Cable Bahamas, China (Nusports.cn), Iceland (NBA TV- Digital Island, Italy (Sportitalia), Mexico (TVC and NBA TV-PCTV, Middle East (NBA TV-Orbit), Serbia (Sport Klub), and Venezuela (NBA TV-Intercable).
With tickets starting at $10, fans can enjoy the unique experience of seeing the WNBA's superstars together in one place at Madison Square Garden, the World's Most Famous Arena. Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster Retail Locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-877-WNBA-TIX. Tickets are also available for purchase at Madison Square Garden's Box Office, through WNBA.com and at the NBA Store in New York.

About the WNBA
Featuring 14 teams and the greatest female basketball players from around the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women's professional team sports league in U.S. history. The league's historic 10th Anniversary season, which tipped off on Saturday, May 20, features significant interactivity with fans who will play a key role in selecting the league's All-Decade Team, the WNBA's Greatest Moments and the starters for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game Presented by Vonage set to take place on July 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City (live on ESPN at 7:30 ET). The WNBA's "10 Years of Caring" initiative, which tipped off during the week of May 8, is another way in which the league is celebrating its milestone season. The "10 Years of Caring" platform, which underscores the continued commitment of WNBA teams and players to the communities in which they live and play, will see all 14 teams active in their respective markets, engaging with fans in a variety of programs throughout the year.

The WNBA's 10th Anniversary season includes appointment viewing on Tuesday nights as ESPN2 will televise 14 WNBA games - including five doubleheaders - on Tuesdays this spring/summer. WNBA games and programming also will be shown in 198 countries via 79 telecasters in 34 languages this season.