WNBA Names Skills Challenge and 3-Point Shootout Participants for All-Star Tuesday
- Sue Bird to Defend Title
Against Three Players in Dribble, Dish & Swish Challenge -
Diana Taurasi and Becky Hammon to Headline Participants in Inaugural WNBA Three-Point
Shoot Out -
NEW YORK (JULY 8, 2006), - The 2006
WNBA All-Star festivities on Tuesday, July 11, will include two basketball competitions
featuring select players who will compete against the clock and each other. The
Dribble, Dish and Swish Challenge and the Three-Point Shoot Out will take place
prior to the East and West All-Star Practices at Madison Square Garden. The competitions
begin at 1:30 p.m. and are open to the public free of charge.
In the Dribble,
Dish and Swish Challenge, four players will compete in a two-round, timed "obstacle
course" that consists of dribbling, passing and shooting stations. Sue Bird,
the winner of the event in 2005, will defend her title against challengers Deanna
Nolan, Seimone Augustus and Cappie Pondexter. All players must observe basic ball-handling
rules throughout the course and the two players with the fastest times from the
first round will advance to a final head to head competition to determine the
champion. Although Dawn Staley won the inaugural event at Madison Square Garden
in 2003, Bird set the course record during an early round at 26.5 seconds.
addition, the Three-Point Shootout will debut this year with sharpshooters Diana
Taurasi, Katie Douglas, Mwadi Mabika, Becky Hammon, Tamika Catchings and Katie
Smith as participants. The players will compete in the two-round competition with
the top three finishers from the first round advancing to the finals. Five shooting
stations will be set up around the three-point line, with four WNBA balls each
worth one point and one "money ball" worth two points at each location.
These events will air live on NBA TV at 1:30 p.m. prior to full coverage
of the East and West practices beginning at 2:30 p.m.
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).
WNBA rosters for
the 2006 season feature 29 international players from 18 countries and territories
on team rosters this season. Among the international players named WNBA All-Star
2006 starters, are the Seattle Storm's Lauren Jackson (Australia) and the Connecticut
Sun's Margo Dydek (Poland).
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 for the 2006 WNBA All-Star
Game Presented by Vonage 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
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.