Tamika Catchings And Sue Bird Lead 2006 WNBA All-Star Balloting With Days to Go

Connecticut Sun in Position to Send Four Starters to WNBA’s Showcase Event

NEW YORK, (June, 21, 2006) – Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings leads all Eastern Conference players and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird tops the Western Conference players after receiving the second returns of the 2006 WNBA All-Star Balloting Program Presented by T-Mobile and AOL.com. Along with Catchings and Bird, Sheryl Swoopes of the Houston Comets, Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm and Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks round out the current top five vote-getters across the league.

The 2006 WNBA All-Star Game will be hosted by the New York Liberty on Wednesday, July 12 at Madison Square Garden. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Catchings, who is averaging 17.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.6 steals, leads all players with 44,588 votes. While the Connecticut Sun’s Nykesha Sales is second among Eastern forwards with 32,775 votes, her teammates – guards Lindsay Whalen and Katie Douglas and center Margo Dydek – are the leading vote-getters at their respective positions. Whalen leads the East’s guards with 29,211 votes and is followed by Douglas with 26,197. Dydek leads all East centers with 24,362 votes.

Three-time WNBA All-Star Sue Bird is averaging 9.7 points, along with 3.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.9 steals has tallied 42,126 votes. Thus far she is joined at the guard position on the West squad by 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year Diana Taurasi who has received 28,110 votes. Houston’s Sheryl Swoopes leads Western Conference forwards with 39,495 votes and Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks leads all West centers with 29,529 votes. Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson, with 36,768 votes to date, fills out the lineup.

Starters for the WNBA All-Star Game will be determined by fan balloting which began on May 28. The nationwide second return voting results reflect fans making their All-Star selections during special in-arena balloting nights and by going online to WNBA.com. The WNBA All-Star Balloting Program presented by T-Mobile and AOL.com will be conducted through June 25. The actual list of starters will be announced by the WNBA on Wednesday, July 5. Reserve players will subsequently be selected by the League’s Eastern and Western Conference head coaches and announced by the league on Saturday, July 8.

With tickets starting at $10, fans can enjoy the unique experience of seeing the WNBA’s superstars together in the league’s special event in The World’s Most Famous Arena. Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster Retail Locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-877-WNBA-TIX. Tickets are also available for purchase at Madison Square Garden’s Box Office, through WNBA.com and at the NBA Store in New York.

The WNBA All-Stars will be extremely visible in New York during the All-Star break as the league will host a number of on and off-court activities, including community initiatives and interactive events that are open to the public FREE of charge. Foremost among those will be the 2006 WNBA All-Star Summer Jam, the league’s free interactive basketball festival, and the WNBA All-Star Legacy project, which serves as the centerpiece of the WNBA’s community outreach efforts in the All-Star host city and leaves a lasting and positive impression for the community. Details for all surrounding events will be announced at a later date.

About the WNBA
Featuring 14 teams and the greatest female basketball players from around the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in U.S. history. The league’s historic 10th Anniversary season, which tipped off on Saturday, May 20, features significant interactivity with fans who will play a key role in selecting the league’s All-Decade Team, the WNBA’s Greatest Moments and the starters for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game set to take place on July 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City (live on ESPN at 7:30 ET). The WNBA’s “10 Years of Caring” initiative, which tipped off during the week of May 8, is another way in which the league is celebrating its milestone season. The “10 Years of Caring” platform, which underscores the continued commitment of WNBA teams and players to the communities in which they live and play, will see all 14 teams active in their respective markets, engaging with fans in a variety of programs throughout the year.

The WNBA’s 10th Anniversary season includes appointment viewing on Tuesday nights as ESPN2 will televise 14 WNBA games – including five doubleheaders – on Tuesdays this spring/summer. WNBA games and programming also will be shown in 198 countries via 79 telecasters in 34 languages this season.