World's Best Women's Basketball Players to Square Off at Mohegan Sun Arena

- 2010 WNBA All-Star Game to Feature USA Basketball Women’s National Team
Led by Geno Auriemma on ESPN –

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2010 - WNBA All-Star 2010 will take place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on Saturday, July 10, league President Donna Orender announced today. The game will be on ESPN with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

The 2010 WNBA All-Star Game will feature a unique, exciting format in which the USA Basketball Women’s National Team will compete against a team of WNBA all-stars. The U.S. squad will be coached by national figure and local treasure, Geno Auriemma, who will guide the national team. As the head coach at the nearby University of Connecticut, Auriemma has led the school’s women’s program to six national championships, including the 2009 title.

“We will showcase the greatest female basketball players in the world,” said Orender. “With Geno Auriemma leading the national team in his home state before one of the WNBA’s most dedicated fan bases at a terrific venue, we’re set for a great basketball experience.”

“Women’s basketball is ingrained in the fabric of the state of Connecticut,” said Sun Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Etess. “Sun fans, in particular, proved that last year, filling the arena for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game and making that game one of the greatest in the history of the event. Now in 2010 we’re thrilled to be able to offer our fans an opportunity to see the best women’s basketball players in the world all on one court at the same time with a unique twist.”

“On behalf of USA Basketball, I want to thank the WNBA for providing us with this extraordinary – and important – opportunity to gather the USA Women’s National Team together in advance of the 2010 World Championship,” added Auriemma. “As we prepare to face teams from around the world, there is no better competition we could face than to tip off against a team of WNBA all-stars.”

Sun season-ticket holders will receive information this week detailing an opportunity to buy their current seats for the All-Star Game in advance of a public on-sale date. Others with an opportunity to purchase All-Star tickets prior to the public sale date include fans who purchase one of the Sun Mini Plan options, which go on sale Feb. 1, or those who purchase a Sun pick-a-plan option that will go on sale in March.

Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena, host of the 2005, 2009 and 2010 WNBA All-Star games, joins New York’s Madison Square Garden as the only venues to stage the event three times. In addition to hosting the league’s first All-Star event on July 14, 1999, Madison Square Garden was the site of the All-Star Game in 2003 and again in 2006 during the league’s 10th anniversary season. Washington, D.C. hosted the game in 2002 and 2007. Last year, the Seattle Storm’s Swin Cash – a product of Auriemma’s at UConn, earned the game’s MVP honor by scoring a record 22 points on 10-16 shooting from the field. She also added six rebounds and four assists to lead the Western Conference over the Eastern Conference, 133-118.

WNBA ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY

DateLocationWL
July 14, 1999Madison Square Garden (New York)West 79East 61
July 17, 2000America West Arena (Phoenix)West 73East 61
July 16, 2001TD Waterhouse Centre (Orlando)West 80East 72
July 15, 2002MCI Center (Washington)West 81East 76
July 12, 2003Madison Square Garden (New York)West 84East 75
July 9, 2005Mohegan Sun Arena (Connecticut)West 122East 99
July 12, 2006Madison Square Garden (New York)East 98West 82
July 15, 2007Verizon Center (Washington)East 103West 99
July 25, 2009Mohegan Sun Arena (Connecticut) West 133East 118

* No All-Star game was held in 2004 and 2008 due to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and Beijing, China, respectively. An exhibition game was conducted at Radio City Music Hall in the summer of 2004.

About the WNBA
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. Now preparing for its 14th season, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The 2009 regular season featured increased attendance for the third consecutive year and increased viewership on ESPN2 for the second straight summer. Average viewership on ESPN2 jumped 76 percent from a year ago for the 2009 WNBA Finals presented by adidas. The five-game series also featured three sellouts plus the highest total attendance figure (82,018) in WNBA Finals history.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

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