Participants Named for 2009 WNBA All-Star Pre-Game Challenge presented by Toyota

NEW YORK, July 23, 2009 – WNBA All-Stars will participate in the All-Star Three-Point Shootout and the All-Star Skills Challenge as part of the WNBA All-Star Pre-Game Challenge presented by Toyota. The Pre-Game Challenge will take place prior to the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

Six of the league’s elite shooters will compete over two rounds in the All-Star Three-Point Shootout. The sharpshooters include Sue Bird, Shameka Christon, Katie Douglas, Becky Hammon, Katie Smith and Diana Taurasi. Christon ranks among the top five in the league in three-point field-goal percentage (.494, 40-81) while Taurasi has made the most three-pointers in the league this season (46) and Katie Smith stands as the WNBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (703).

Players will have one minute to make as many three-pointers as they can from five shooting stations behind the arc. Each spot consists of five basketballs – four WNBA balls worth one point apiece and one All-Star ball worth two points. The top three scorers will advance to compete in the final round.

In 2007, Laurie Koehn of the Washington Mystics, in front of her home crowd at the Verizon Center, scored 25 points in the final round in the Three-Point Shootout. Her performance set a WNBA record and also tied the NBA record set by Craig Hodges in 1986 for most points in a single round of an NBA or WNBA Three-Point Shootout.

The All-Star Skills Challenge will feature four teams comprised of three All-Stars. Two teams from the Eastern Conference and two teams from the Western Conference will compete to make a series of baskets while navigating an obstacle course. The team with the fastest time will claim bragging rights.

Team 1 (East) is comprised of Jia Perkins, Tamika Catchings and Sancho Lyttle. Team 2 (East) consists of Alana Beard, Asjha Jones and Sylvia Fowles. Team 1 (West) participants are Cappie Pondexter, Sophia Young and Charde Houston. Team 2 (West) players are Swin Cash, Nicole Powell and Nicky Anosike.

The 2009 WNBA All-Star Game will tip off at 3:30 p.m. ET, immediately following the Pre-Game Challenge presented by Toyota. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. ET. The game, which is the ninth in league history, will be televised nationally on ABC.

Participants for 2009 WNBA All-Star Pre-Game Challenge presented by Toyota

Sue Bird, Seattle Storm
Shameka Christon, New York Liberty
Katie Douglas, Indiana Fever
Becky Hammon, San Antonio Silver Stars
Katie Smith, Detroit Shock
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

Team 1 (East)
Jia Perkins, Chicago Sky
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
Sancho Lyttle, Atlanta Dream

Team 2 (East)
Alana Beard, Washington Mystics
Asjha Jones, Connecticut Sun
Sylvia Fowles, Chicago Sky

Team 1 (West)
Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix Mercury
Sophia Young, San Antonio Silver Stars
Charde Houston, Minnesota Lynx

Team 2 (West)
Swin Cash, Seattle Storm
Nicole Powell, Sacramento Monarchs
Nicky Anosike, Minnesota Lynx