Taurasi, Griner Named All-Star Starters
PHOENIX – Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and center Brittney Griner were voted 2013 WNBA All-Star starters, as announced during the team’s nationally-televised matchup against the Los Angeles Sparks this evening. It's the fifth time in franchise history that Phoenix has earned multiple All-Stars (1999, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011).
Taurasi garners her franchise-record sixth career All-Star nod (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011; no All-Star games in 2004, 2008, 2010 2012 due to Olympics). Now in her 10th WNBA season, Taurasi is a five-time league scoring champion who currently sits atop the league scoring chart once again, averaging 21.5 points entering play tonight. This season, Taurasi has recorded two 30-point games, and owns 36 in her career, more than any other player in WNBA history. Playing the lead guard position for Phoenix, Taurasi's 5.6-assist average is the second-highest ranks in the league this season.
The No. 1 overall pick in this season's draft, Griner will make her All-Star debut in a rookie season in which she leads the league in blocks per game (2.83), and has already recorded six games with four blocks or more. She also leads the league in field goal the percentage (.598) and in her professional debut set the league record for dunks in a single game (2). Griner will be joined by fellow rookie and Chicago Sky forward, Elena Della Donne, marking the first time in WNBA history the top two draft picks will be among the All-Star starters as rookies.
Taurasi and Griner ranked third and fourth overall in All-Star fan votes among Western Conference selections. Taurasi led all WNBA guards.
Phoenix is one of only three teams in the league to boast more than one player on the 2013 WNBA All-Star starting lineup; Minnesota’s Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus, as well as Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne and Epiphanny Prince, are the others.
Reserve players for the 2013 WNBA All-Star game will be selected by the 12 WNBA head coaches, and announced on Tuesday, July 23 during the Liberty-Fever match up on ESPN2. Phoenix Mercury forwards Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner have a chance to be selected.
Voting for the 2013 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by Boost Mobile was done by fans voting daily on wnba.com, on their mobile device at wnba.com/asb through any wireless carrier, and on the WNBA Center Court presented by Boost Mobile app.
The Mercury returns home on Sunday, July 21 when it hosts the Minnesota Lynx at 3 p.m. Tickets are still available by calling 602-252-WNBA or visiting phoenixmercury.com.