Jackson Voted to Start 2007 WNBA All-Star Game;
Bird Will Miss Game, Undergo Surgery


July 3, 2007
Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird and forward Lauren Jackson were voted by the fans as starters for the Western Conference at the 2007 All-Star Game, the WNBA announced today.

Jackson has been voted a starter by fans for the third time in her career and will make her sixth All-Star appearance overall. Bird was voted a starter for the fifth time in her career but will miss the game while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on her left knee.

Bird, the WNBA’s leader in fan balloting with 128,838 votes, is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove loose particles from her left knee on Friday, July 6. The procedure will be performed at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut by Dr. Michael Joyce. Following the procedure, Bird will return to Seattle for rehabilitation and will remain here through the All-Star Break. The expected recovery period for this type of procedure is approximately two weeks.

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Jackson is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season and currently leads the WNBA in scoring (22.7 ppg), rebounding (9.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.93). She also ranks sixth in field-goal percentage (.511), 10th in three-point percentage (.407) and seventh in free-throw percentage (.911), giving her the distinction of being the only player in the league to rank in the top-10 in all three shooting categories. Jackson leads the league with seven double-doubles on the season and has surpassed 30 points in a game a league-best five times.

The WNBA All-Star Game will be played at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, July 15 and will be broadcast live at 3:30 p.m. (PDT) on ABC.

Joining Bird and Jackson in the Western Conference starting lineup are Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi, San Antonio’s Becky Hammon and Sacramento’s Yolanda Griffith. The Eastern Conference starters are Indiana’s Tamika Catchings and Anna DeForge along with Detroit’s Kara Braxton, Cheryl Ford and Deanna Nolan. Reserve selections will be awarded based on voting from each conference’s head coaches and will be announced on Monday, July 9.