SAN ANTONIO SILVER STARS
2006 Results: The Silver Stars finished
13-21, (.382, 6th in the West).
Roster | Stats | 2007 Schedule
Head coach: Dan Hughes enters his third season with the team.
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2007 Probable Starters:
C:
Ruth Riley
PF:
Sophia Young
SF:
Vickie Johnson
SG:
Marie Ferdinand-Harris
PG:
Becky Hammon
2007 Draft Results:
Rd. 2:
Camille Little
Rd. 3:
Nare Diawara
2006 Leaders:
Points
Sophia Young, 12.0 ppg
Rebs.
Sophia Young, 7.6 rpg
Assts.
Shannon Johnson, 3.7 apg
Blocks
Katie Feenstra, 0.8 bpg
Steals
Shannon Johnson, 1.9 spg
San Antonio Silver Stars: 2007 Preview

COMING BACK


Young
Now a second-year player, Sophia Young proved herself to be a leader even as a rookie in 2006, leading the Silver Stars in minutes, points and rebounds. For her accomplishments, she was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team. But her play was not enough to pull her team through to the postseason. San Antonio went 13-21, but the team did finish with its best record since moving from Utah.

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.

Also returning will be key substitutes Kendra Wecker, a forward who could get a chance to start, and sharp-shooting guard Shanna Crossley.

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.

NEW ADDITIONS

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.


Hammon
But the biggest trade of the year reunited Vickie Johnson with former Liberty teammate Becky Hammon. In a shocking draft-day trade, the Liberty traded their franchise player and captain for the second overall pick in this year's draft (Jessica Davenport) and a second-round pick in 2008. Hammon brings an impressive resume to San Antonio, including eight years of experience along with her 14.7 ppg average, 96% free throw percentage and 42.5% clip from the field in 2006. Hammon is a leader and a top-notch talent, and her presence will help to both shake up and shape up this San Antonio squad.

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.

OUTLOOK

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.

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