Powell Proves She Deserved All-Star Spot

Thereís no better way to show you belong than by playing your best. Thatís exactly what Sacramento Monarchs forward Nicole Powell did on Thursday night.

The 27-year-old dropped a career-high 32 points against the New York Liberty. This comes less than 24 hours after she was named as a replacement for Lisa Leslie on the Western Conference All-Star roster.

Powell, the only Monarchs All-Star this season, padded her stat average to 16.2 points (ninth in the league) and 5.3 rebounds (14th) a night. Those numbers, as well as Thursdayís performance, prove Powell was the right choice to take the WNBA legendís spot.

Before Thursdayís game, Powell spoke with WNBA.comís Scott Stanchak about playing in this Saturdayís All-Star Game, among other topics.

How did you find out you made the All-Star team and how have you been celebrating since?

I found out (Tuesday) night, before our Connecticut game. I really havenít been able to celebrate since we had a game the next day in Connecticut so I just tried to get prepared for that. We were going back-to-back. It has been really the normal routine tied in with todayís game.

What does it mean to replace a legend like Lisa Leslie in the All-Star Game?

I feel bad for her or any player that canít play in the game. I hope she can recover and finish the season.

Were you at all surprised that you, let alone any Monarchsí player, didnít make the All-Star team initially?

No, I really donít pay attention to these things anymore. So itís not really surprising one way or another.

Give me your assessment of where the Monarchs are heading into the half and what needs to be done in the second half to improve.

Obviously, weíve been disappointed so far, but weíre going to keep working hard every day. You know, playing on the road and a tough schedule, every team is good; weíre just going to do the best that we can.

You lead the league in three-point attempts. Would you like to take part in the three-point contest?

I donít really know.

Nicole Powell scored a career-high 32 points, one day after being named an All-Star.
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