Augustus Puts On A Show As She Wins The All-Star Dribble, Dish and Swish Challenge
NEW YORK, July 11 --
All-Star's on-court festivities tipped off with the All-Star Dribble, Dish
and Swish Challenge at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. The contest showcased
four players with speed, skill and accuracy. The contestants included Minnesota
rookie Seimone Augustus, Seattle's Sue Bird, Detroit's Deanna Nolan and Phoenix
rookie Cappie Pondexter.
As the players first started warming up and getting a feel for the course prior
to the event, it looked as though the winner was going to be either Sue Bird or
Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman, who both got through the course with ease. Yes,
that's right, I said Nancy Lieberman. She may not have been in the event or even
in the WNBA anymore, but she sure looked like she knew what she was doing as she
gave the course a run through. It even looked as though the NBA TV analyst completed
the course faster than rookie sensation Seimone Augustus, who would eventually
become the champion.
Each contestant began the obstacle course on the baseline.
The players start the event with a layup before dribbling down the court around
pylons shaped as WNBA players. After they get to the other end of the court, they
must throw a straight chest pass through the first cylinder, then grab a second
ball and bounce pass it through the second cylinder. When the two passes are complete,
they then grab another ball and must hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
After the three they must pass one more ball through the third cylinder before
dribbling through three more pylons and being set home free for another open lay
up. The fasted time wins.
The competition started as the two rookies once
again faced each other head-to-head this season.
Seimone Augustus, who stuggled
in her first time through during warmups, was the first contestant and felt that
the course would "be tough" prior to the start of the competition. But the course
sure looked pretty easy for Seimone early on. Then she reached the 3-point.shot
from the top of the key. She missed all five shots, but still finished with the
second best time of the first round with 38.1 seconds.
Fellow rookie Cappie
Pondexter was the second contestant to compete. She hit her first pass and it
only took her two attempts to make the bounce pass, but it was her three missed
3-pointers that really slowed her down. She finished a second behind Seimone with
After the two youngsters posted the times to beat, it was then time for the
veterans to show what they could do.
Deanna Nolan went third and felt that
she had what it took to beat Augustus' 38.9 second run, but things did not start
too smoothly for the Shock guard as she missed opening layup. She missed all five
bounce passes, but was the first contestant to make the three-pointer on the first
try. It was too little too late for Deanna at the end as she finished the course
in 40.8 second, which was not enough to make it to the finals.
it was Sue Bird's turn. The two-time defending All-Star Dribble, Dish and Swish
Challenge champ said that she thought she had what it took to beat 38.9 to make
it to the finals, and she sure did. She made her first two passes and finished
an almost flawless run in 29.2 seconds.
Pondexter and Nolan took a seat
early as they did not qualify for the final round, but that doesn't mean they
didn't have a good time. "It was pretty cool," Pondexter said after the event.
"It was a good atmosphere and everyone was just relaxed and had a lot of fun."
Nolan felt that the "event was great, overall" and added that she "had a lot of
After a quick dance competition from some WNBA fans, Augustus and
Bird took center stage and brought their skills to the finals.
felt good going into the finals and proved it by making a good first pass and
hitting the first jumper. She moved down the homestretch at an incredible speed
to finish the course in 28.5 seconds. Aside from one missed bounce pass, Augustus
Finally it was Sue Bird's turn to prove that she could beat
both her time from her previous run and Seimone's 28.5 second run. Bird said she
was not nervous going into the finals, but looked as though she might have been
as she missed the opening layup followed by two missed passes. She fnished with
33.2 seconds, which was not enough to three-peat.
Augustus took the All-Star
Dribble, Dish and Swish Challenge trophy home.
"The event was very
fun and competitive," the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 Draft said.
and the other All-Stars are looking forward to tomorrow's main event.
game is going to be fun," Augustus said. "I'm just looking to entertain
the crowd and have another good time out here."