2009 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by
T-Mobile First Returns Announced

- Diana Taurasi Leads all Players,
Tamika Catchings Tops the East -

NEW YORK, NY, July 2, 2009 – Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi leads all players and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings tops the Eastern Conference after receiving the most votes following first returns of 2009 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile. Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie, who has announced that this will be her final season, is the leading vote-getter among WNBA centers.

The 2009 WNBA All-Star Game will be nationally televised on ABC on Saturday, July 25 (3:30 p.m. ET). It will mark the second time that the midseason classic is played at Mohegan Sun, which also hosted the WNBA All-Star festivities in 2005.

In addition to Taurasi and Leslie, top vote-getters by position in the Western Conference following first returns include forwards Cappie Pondexter and Lauren Jackson and guard Sue Bird. Joining Catchings as fan favorites in the Eastern Conference are center Sylvia Fowles, guards Katie Douglas and Lindsay Whalen and forward Candice Dupree.

Taurasi, who is averaging 21.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.5 steals in 2009, is currently the top vote-getter among all players with 32,921 votes. Pondexter, her Mercury teammate, follows closely behind with 26,701 votes. Rounding out the Western Conference leaders are Leslie (24,305), Bird (21,962) and Jackson (18,169).

Catchings, who is averaging 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.1 steals per game, leads Eastern Conference players with 32,266 votes. Other leaders in the East include Fowles (22,446), Douglas (22,407), Whalen (21,428) and Dupree (19,345).

Starting lineups for the WNBA All-Star Game are determined by fan balloting which began on June 14 and runs through July 7 in WNBA arenas and on WNBA.com. Fans are asked to select two forwards, two guards and one center from each conference. Starters will be announced on July 14.

A limited number of tickets for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game are still available by going online to ticketmaster.com.

By hosting the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game, the ninth in WNBA history, Connecticut will join Washington, D.C. and New York as the only cities to stage the event multiple times. In addition to hosting the league’s first All-Star event on July 14, 1999, New York’s 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. The Western Conference dominated play by winning six straight before MVP Katie Douglas led the Eastern Conference to a 98-82 victory in the 2006 All-Star Game. The East followed that up with another victory in 2007, when Cheryl Ford poured in 16 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to earn MVP honors.

WNBA ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY

Date Location W L
July 14, 1999 Madison Square Garden (New York) West 79 East 61
July 17, 2000 America West Arena (Phoenix) West 73 East 61
July 16, 2001 TD Waterhouse Centre (Orlando) West 80 East 72
July 15, 2002 MCI Center (Washington) West 81 East 76
July 12, 2003 Madison Square Garden (New York) West 84 East 75
July 9, 2005 Mohegan Sun Arena (Connecticut) West 122 East 99
July 12, 2006 Madison Square Garden (New York) East 98 West 82
July 15, 2007 Verizon Center (Washington) East 103 West 99
* No game held in 2004 and 2008 due to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and Beijing, China, respectively

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. Comprised of 13 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The league concluded its historic 12th regular season with increases in attendance, ratings, Web traffic and merchandise sales. The 2009 WNBA season tipped off June 6 on ABC.

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.

2009 WNBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING PRESENTED BY T-MOBILE

WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST RETURNS

Forwards: Cappie Pondexter (Phx) 26,701; Lauren Jackson (Sea) 18,169; DeWanna Bonner (Phx) 17,973; Swin Cash (Sea) 17,221; Tina Thompson (LA) 15,981; Sophia Young (SA) 15,073; DeLisha Milton-Jones (LA) 10,850; Seimone Augustus (Min) 10,085; Erin Perperoglou (SA) 9,996; Nicole Powell (Sac) 4,837; Rebecca Brunson (Sac) 4,186.

Centers: Lisa Leslie (LA) 24,305; Tangela Smith (Phx) 16,730; Ruth Riley (SA) 15,543; Nicky Anosike (Min) 8,580; Janell Burse (Sea) 6,585; DeMya Walker (Sac) 4,366.

Guards: Diana Taurasi (Phx) 32,921; Sue Bird (Sea) 21,962; Becky Hammon (SA) 18,050; Temeka Johnson (Phx) 17,775; Candace Parker (LA) 9,579; Vickie Johnson (SA) 9,271; Renee Montgomery (Min) 7,860; Kelly Miller (Min) 7,716; Betty Lennox (LA) 6,334; Candice Wiggins (Min) 5,999; Kara Lawson (Sac) 5,451; Ticha Penicheiro (Sac) 5,081; Tanisha Wright (Sea) 4,025.

EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST RETURNS

Forwards: Tamika Catchings (Ind) 32,266; Candice Dupree (Chi) 19,345; Asjha Jones (Conn) 15,300; Marissa Coleman (Wash) 14,854; Ebony Hoffman (Ind) 14,608; Chamique Holdsclaw (Atl) 11,475; Taj McWilliams (Det) 10,724; Nakia Sanford (Wash) 10,290; Chen Nan (Chi) 9,328; Amber Holt (Conn) 9,203; Plenette Pierson (Det) 6,048; Angel McCoughtry (Atl) 5,837; Shameka Christon (NY) 5,177; Cathrine Kraayeveld (NY) 4,060; Erika de Souza (Atl) 3,434.

Centers: Sylvia Fowles (Chi) 22,446; Tammy Sutton-Brown (Ind) 15,132; Cheryl Ford (Det) 11,407; Chasity Melvin (Wash) 11,177; Janel McCarville (NY) 10,226; Tamika Whitmore (Conn) 10,205; Michelle Snow (Atl) 5,418.

Guards: Katie Douglas (Ind) 22,407; Lindsay Whalen (Conn) 21,428; Alana Beard (Wash) 19,721; Tully Bevilaqua (Ind) 16,735; Lindsey Harding (Wash) 14,580; Deanna Nolan (Det) 13,901; Katie Smith (Det) 12,916; Jia Perkins (Chi) 12,516; Erin Phillips (Conn) 12,124; Kristi Toliver (Chi) 12,100; Nikki Teasley (Atl) 6,001; Loree Moore (NY) 4,937; Essence Carson (NY) 4,252.

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