Veteran Vickie Johnson will join Young this season as the only returning starters and both are ready to improve on last year's mark. Johnson is a former member of the Liberty and a two time All-Star who ranked eighth in the league in assists last year and will really help move the ball around the court. Together, the two will have to get accustomed to a group of new teammates.
NOT COMING BACK
After three seasons in San Antonio, four-time WNBA All-Star Shannon "Pee Wee" Johnson will not be sporting a Silver Stars uniform in 2007. Last year's champs, the Detroit Shock, signed her as an unrestricted free agent. Johnson has a strong presence on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. She ranked ninth in the league in assists per game (3.7) and fifth in steals per game (1.9) while averaging 9.9 ppg. Her experience and talent will be missed in San Antonio.
Also making the move out of town was center Katie Feenstra. At 6-8, she has averaged 8.3 ppg and 5.6 rpg in her career. Still only 24, she has already proven herself to be a talented player. Traded for Ruth Riley, she will join "Pee Wee" in Detroit in 2007.
Polish guard/forward Agnieszka Bibrzycka also will not be with the club in 2007. Last year, she averaged 11.3 ppg and ranked sixth in the league with 55 3-pointers. She has stayed in Poland to deal with family issues, but since the Silver Stars have retained her rights, she could return next year.
The Silver Stars made a major move in picking up Ruth Riley, the 2003 WNBA Finals MVP for Feenstra. The former Shock center is among the league's elite players — sporting career averages of 8.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 1.5 bpg — and won a gold medal with the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. She has a knack for helping teams win and will make an immediate impact as a starter.
Another veteran guard, Helen Darling has joined San Antonio after being chosen fourth in the Charlotte Disposal Draft. She averaged 5.4 ppg, 2.8 apg and 1.2 spg last season. Known for her strong defensive play and her ability to distribute the ball, she will add depth in the point guard position, helping to offset the loss of Shannon Johnson.
The only Stars player who was a member of the original Utah Starzz squad, Marie Ferdinand-Harris will be back this season after missing last year to give birth to her first child. She is a two-time WNBA All-Star who boasts career averages of 13.1 ppg, 2.4 apg and 1.56 spg. A strong player and leader, she will be welcomed back with open arms and will help to make this cluster of stars shine.
Other additions include Erin Buescher and Sandora Irvin. The WNBA's Most Improved Player in 2006, Buescher is coming off by far her best season, during which she put up 9.7 ppg. She's a solid addition for San Antonio, but she will have to work for her time on the court. Irvin comes to San Antonio by way of Phoenix, and after two years in the league she has compiled an average of 2.4 ppg and 2.3 rpg. Chosen third in the 2005 draft, she is a promising young player that will add depth to the bench.
In the second round of the draft, San Antonio picked up Camille Little, a solid, skilled forward out of North Carolina who will have the opportunity to learn from the veterans on the team.
San Antonio fans will see a new-look group take the court this season, one with several accomplished veterans who will provide fans with more wins and more excitement than last year. The backcourt combination of Johnson and Hammon, along with the scoring of Young and the size of Riley could be lethal enough to land the Silver Stars in the postseason.