NEW YORK, July 18, 2017 – Reigning regular-season MVP Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks, reigning Rookie of the Year Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm and WNBA scoring leader Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury were selected by the league’s head coaches as reserves for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017, the WNBA announced today.
Stewart is one of seven reserves named as an All-Star for the first time. With three starters also earning their first selection, a total of ten players – eight from the Eastern Conference and two from the Western Conference – have been picked to make their All-Star debut at Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 on Saturday, July 22 at KeyArena in Seattle (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
Ogwumike and Griner, both four-time All-Star selections, were voted to the West frontcourt with Stewart. The West reserves also feature guards Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson of the Minnesota Lynx, Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Dallas Wings and Chelsea Gray of the Sparks. Augustus and Diggins-Smith are All-Star veterans with seven and three selections, respectively, while Gray is a first-time pick.
The East reserves are highlighted by Indiana Fever forward Candice Dupree, who joins Cappie Pondexter and Tina Thompson as the only players in league history to be selected as an All-Star with three different teams. Dupree represented the East in 2006, 2007 and 2009 as a member of the Chicago Sky and was on the West in 2014 and 2015 with the Mercury.
Two-time All-Star Stefanie Dolson of Chicago joins Dupree as a reserve in the East frontcourt. The conference’s four other reserves are all first-time All-Stars: Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun and Elizabeth Williams of the Atlanta Dream in the frontcourt, along with guards Layshia Clarendon of the Dream and Allie Quigley of the Sky. The East also has three first-time All-Stars in the starting lineup with Atlanta’s Tiffany Hayes and Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones and Jasmine Thomas.
Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 will feature nine former No. 1 overall picks. Eight of those players will suit up for the West: Bird (the top pick in 2002), Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi (2004), Augustus (2006), Los Angeles’ Candace Parker (2008), Minnesota’s Maya Moore (2011), Ogwumike (2012), Griner (2013) and Stewart (2016). Tina Charles (2010) of the New York Liberty will represent the East.
Griner, along with East starter Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics, will miss Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 due to injury. On July 14, Griner suffered knee and ankle injuries and Delle Donne sustained a sprained ankle. WNBA President Lisa Borders will select the replacements for Griner and Delle Donne.
Following are the reserves for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017:
Eastern Conference Reserves
Western Conference Reserves
In selecting the reserves, the 12 WNBA head coaches voted for six players in their own conference: two guards, three frontcourt players and a player at either position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team.
Individual tickets for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 start at just $15 and can be purchased at http://seattlestormbasketball.com/ticketcentral/#/all-star or by calling 206-217-WNBA (9622).
The 2017 WNBA regular season runs through Sept. 3. For more information on the WNBA and game tickets, fans may visit www.wnba.com.
VERIZON WNBA ALL-STAR 2017 ROSTERS
EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
Head Coach: Bill Laimbeer (New York Liberty)
|Elena Delle Donne*@||Mystics||Frontcourt||6-5||Delaware||4||4|
|Jonquel Jones*^||Sun||Frontcourt||6-6||George Washington||1||1|
WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
Head Coach: Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx)
|Skylar Diggins-Smith||Wings||Guard||5-9||Notre Dame||4||3|
* denotes starter, as voted by the fans, media and current WNBA players
^ denotes first-time All-Star selection
@ denotes injured, unable to play
+ denotes replacement player selected by WNBA President
Years denotes number of seasons completed entering 2017
All-Star Games denotes number of All-Star selections including 2017