Taurasi and Griner Among Leaders in First Returns of All-Star Balloting
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and center Brittney Griner were among the leaders in the first returns of WNBA All-Star balloting announced today by the league and would start the game together at home if voting ended today. Phoenix and US Airways Center are set to host Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 on Saturday, July 19 with a tip-off of 12:30 p.m. (Phoenix time).
Taurasi leads all Western Conference guards with 10,487 votes. Griner is currently third among the frontcourt candidates with 10,214 votes. The top two guards and top three frontcourt players will be named to the WNBA All-Star team in their respective conference.
A six-time WNBA All-Star, Taurasi is currently averaging 19.5 points (5th in WNBA) and a career-high 6.6 assists (2nd in WNBA) per game. On Friday, she tallied her third consecutive double-double and dished a career-high 12 assists. All four of her double-doubles this season have come in the last five games, matching her season total, and a career-high, from 2013 (32 games). She is currently the third-leading scorer in WNBA history, just 48 points shy of passing Katie Smith (6,452) for second on the All-Time list.
Named WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week yesterday, Griner is averaging a career-high 17.4 points (12.6 points in 2013) and a career-best 8.6 rebounds (6.3 rebounds in 2013), both seventh-best in the league. Griner leads the league in blocks for the second consecutive season, averaging a career-high 3.33 (3.00 blocks in 2013), and is currently second in the league in field goal percentage (85-of-137, .620). She was named an All-Star in her rookie season in 2013, but did not play due to injury.
WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by Boost Mobile is the most expansive balloting program in the 18-year history of the league. Fans around the world have the opportunity to vote daily for their favorite WNBA players on WNBA.com, mobile devices, the WNBA Center Court App presented by Boost Mobile, and for the first time via Twitter and Facebook.
Voters are asked to select two guards and three frontcourt players (forwards and/or centers) from each conference. A write-in option is also available, allowing fans to choose players not listed on the ballot. Fans can vote for up to 10 players per day on WNBA.com, mobile devices, and the WNBA Center Court App presented by Boost Mobile, and will be able to share those All-Star picks with friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter, encouraging others to cast their ballots as well. Fans also will be able to cast votes on Facebook and Twitter, voting for one player per day using the designated hashtag #WNBABALLOT. Balloting will conclude at 9 p.m. Phoenix time on Wednesday, July 2.
The WNBA will announce the All-Star starters on ESPN2 on Tuesday, July 8, during a nationally televised game featuring the Los Angeles Sparks at the Minnesota Lynx (tip-off at 6 p.m. Phoenix time). Reserves will be announced on ESPN2 on Tuesday, July 15, during the game between Los Angeles and the Indiana Fever (tip-off at 5 p.m. Phoenix time).
Individual tickets for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 start at just $20 and can be purchased online at phoenixmercury.com/allstar, through Ticketmaster viaTicketmaster.com, by dialing 800-745-3000, or at the US Airways Center Ticket Office. For every All-Star Game ticket sold, the Mercury will donate $1 to its “All-Stars and Stripes” program benefiting local military heroes and their families.
The Mercury hit the road for two games this week, Friday at Indiana (4 p.m. Phoenix time) and Sunday at Tulsa (1:30 p.m. Phoenix time). The Mercury returns home Wednesday, July 2 at 7 p.m., hosting the Chicago Sky at US Airways Center.