Nicky Anosike, Charde Houston Named to WNBA All-Star Team

Nicky Anosike Audio
Charde Houston Audio

Minnesota Lynx center Nicky Anosike and forward Charde Houston have been named to the 2009 Western Conference All-Star team as reserves, it was announced today by the WNBA. The All-Star reserves were selected by coaches in their respective conferences. Coaches could not vote for players on their own team. The All-Star Game, the ninth in league history, will be held on Saturday, July 25 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. and will be televised nationally on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The duo becomes the franchise's fourth- and fifth-ever All-Star representatives (Katie Smith, 2000-2003, 2005; Seimone Augustus, 2006-2007; Betty Lennox, 2000). Anosike (2nd/2008) and Houston (3rd/2008) also become the first later-round draft choices to enter the league since 2001 who have gone on to be chosen for an All-Star Game.

Anosike, Minnesota's second-round (16th overall) selection in the 2008 WNBA Draft, has started all 17 games for the Lynx this season, averaging 13.9 points per game and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game in 30.8 minutes per game. The six-foot-three center is averaging career-highs in nearly every major statistical category in 2009, including points, rebounds, assists (2.8 per game), steals (3.1 per game) and field-goal accuracy (.536 percent). Anosike currently leads all Western Conference centers in scoring, rebounding and assists. She is also presently the only player to rank among the WNBA's top 20 in all five major statistical categories (points, 16th; rebounds, 3rd; assists, 18th; steals, 2nd; blocks, 11th) and is also 7th in field-goal accuracy.

Anosike, a two-time NCAA National Champion at Tennessee and the 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year, ranks second among all WNBA post players in assists and has registered four point/rebound double-doubles in 2009, tops in the Western Conference and second overall in the WNBA. Anosike recorded 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, five blocks and four steals in Minnesota's 87-76 win over Los Angeles on June 10, falling just one steal shy of recording only the second "5x5" effort in league history. Anosike has been credited with 4+ steals on eight separate occasions in 2009, including a franchise-record-tying seven in the June 30 victory in Atlanta. Anosike is on pace to pick up 104 steals this season, which would eclipse Teresa Weatherspoon's WNBA single-season record set in 1998. Additionally, Anosike leads all WNBA players with 115 free-throw attempts.

Houston, Minnesota's third-round selection (30th overall) in 2008 out of the University of Connecticut, is averaging a career-best 14.3 points per game (team-leading) and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2009, up from 8.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 2008, her rookie season. She stands as one of only three Western Conference players currently averaging 14+ points and 6+ rebounds per game, joining Lauren Jackson and Sophia Young. Houston currently ranks among the league leaders in scoring (15th), rebounding (11th) and field-goal accuracy (12th). In addition, the six-foot forward is shooting 0.424 percent (14-for-33) from three-point range, the 6th-best percentage in the Western Conference (14th overall).

Houston, a San Diego, Calif., native, has scored in double figures a team-leading 13 times this season, including besting 20 points on three occasions. She poured in a career-high 23 points in the June 7 win at Indiana, then topped that by scoring 26 points as the Lynx won at San Antonio on July 12. She finished 10-for-12 from the floor in both games. Houston has led Minnesota in scoring four times, rebounds five times and assists three times in 2009.

Joining Anosike and Houston on the 2009 Western Conference All-Star team are: Starters Sue Bird (G Seattle Storm), Becky Hammon (G San Antonio Silver Stars), Swin Cash (F Seattle Storm), Lauren Jackson (F Seattle Storm), Lisa Leslie (C Los Angeles Spakrs); Reserves Diana Taurasi (G Phoenix Mercury), Cappie Pondexter (G/F Phoenix Mercury), Tina Thompson (F Los Angeles Sparks), Sophia Young (F San Antonio Silver Stars).

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