All-Star Season for Shameka Christon

Shameka Christon is playing All-Star basketball in what is so far the best individual season of her six-year career. Her teammates and coaches believe there should be a spot for her on the East squad in this month’s All-Star Game in Connecticut and Christon is posting the numbers to back up their endorsements.

But whether or not the 6-foot-1 forward - who ranks sixth in the league in scoring with 17.5 points per game - will make the team is still to be determined. The fan voting for the starters ended last week and they will be announced on Tuesday. The league’s coaches will then select the reserves on July 20.

“She’s playing like (an All-Star),” Liberty Head Coach Pat Coyle said. “I think she’s having a very good year and I thought she had a very good year last year.”

Christon, on the other hand, is not thinking about the possibility of being named an All-Star for the first time in her career, especially with her team sitting towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings at 4-7.

“Honestly, I really don’t think about it right now,” Christon said. “My main focus is on the team. We have to start getting this thing turned around. I really don’t think about All-Star, I just go out there and do what I can to help the team get a victory.”

In the Liberty’s final game before the All-Star voting returns are announced, Christon poured in 18 points on 4-of-12 shooting and pulled in six rebounds to help her team recover from a slow start and defeat the Atlanta Dream 71-69 on Saturday.

Christon hit a clutch 3-pointer to get New York within one with just over a minute remaining and she stripped the ball from Chamique Holdsclaw in the closing seconds to seal the win.

“When you need something, she just gets it done,” Liberty center Janel McCarville said. “She’s definitely matured a lot through the years to get to this point. And as long as she keeps going, the sky’s the limit for her. She’s definitely an underrated player in the league.”

Christon does not consider herself the vocal leader on the team - leaving that role to McCarville and point guard Loree Moore - but rather a player who leads by example. Christon has proven throughout her career that she can put the ball in the hoop, which has earned her All-Star recognition, but it’s the little things that she does on the court that could help the Liberty get back on track.

“I think I could do better as far as consistently going to the boards and even defensively to help my team out,” said Christon, who is averaging a career-best 4.5 boards through 10 games this season. “I think everything with us right now is mental, so hopefully I can help get everybody on the same page because we have such a great group on and off the court.”