WNBA Unveils 30 Official Nominees for Voting of Top 15 Players of All Time

In celebration of its historic 15th season, the WNBA is honoring the most influential players since its inception in 1997, and announced today the 30 official nominees for the Top 15 Players of all time. The nominees were selected by a panel comprised of media members and basketball experts, with consideration given to such factors as on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, as well as to contributions to team success and the overall growth of women’s basketball.

“We are extremely proud to recognize and honor the greatest players in the 15-year history of the WNBA,” said WNBA President Laurel Richie. “The women who comprise the list of nominees are an extraordinary combination of ground-breaking pioneers and present-day stars. Each has made a unique contribution to the game, but all share an unsurpassed passion for women's basketball and for the WNBA. It is through their efforts, collectively, that the WNBA has become – and will continue to be – the destination point for the most talented female basketball players in the world.”

Voting for the league’s Top 15 Players of all time will be conducted among fans and select national and WNBA-market media, as well as current players and coaches. Fans are encouraged to vote by logging onto WNBA.com, which will highlight each of the 30 nominees, complete with biographical information and a photo gallery. In addition, the history section will serve as an informational resource for fans and media to browse through career statistical leaders, league milestones, previous award winners and more.

Fans can cast a vote for their Top 15 Players of all time once per day by going online to http://www.wnba.com/top15players starting today and ending at midnight on July 14.

The WNBA’s Top 15 Players will be unveiled and honored at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game, where the San Antonio Silver Stars will host the midseason classic for the first time in franchise history. ABC will nationally broadcast the game on Saturday, July 23, at 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. CT).

Individual tickets for the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game are available to the general public at all San Antonio Ticketmaster locations, including by phone at (210) 225-TEAM, or online at ticketmaster.com or sasilverstars.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the AT&T Center Southeast Box Office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or on weekend event days starting at 10 a.m. or by calling (210) 444-5090.

Among other season-long initiatives, the WNBA will offer fans a special opportunity to determine the Top 15 Moments in league history. That initiative, set to tip off in late July, will enable fans to rank – from No. 15 through No. 1 – the greatest games, plays, milestones, and inspirational moments in the history of the WNBA. The rankings will be unveiled during the second half of the season through the Playoffs and into the Finals. WNBA teams will also be hosting specially-themed game nights to commemorate the 15th season milestone, along with creative fan promotions, interactive events and presentations to long-time season ticket holders.

Below is a list of the 30 official nominees for the league’s Top 15 Players of all time:

Players
Seimone Augustus
Sue Bird
Ruthie Bolton*
Swin Cash
Tamika Catchings
Cynthia Cooper*
Katie Douglas
Cheryl Ford
Yolanda Griffith*
Becky Hammon
Chamique Holdsclaw Washington Mystics (1999-2004)
Lauren Jackson
Shannon Johnson*
Lisa Leslie*
Taj McWilliams-Franklin Washington Mystics (2008)
Delisha Milton-Jones Washington Mystics (2005-2007)
Deanna Nolan
Candace Parker
Ticha Penicheiro
Cappie Pondexter
Nykesha Sales*
Katie Smith Washington Mystics (2010)
Tangela Smith
Dawn Staley*
Sheryl Swoopes
Diana Taurasi
Penny Taylor
Tina Thompson
Teresa Weatherspoon*
Natalie Williams*

*Retired