WNBA and USA Basketball Stars Visit ESPN Headquarters

Bristol, Connecticut, July 8, 2010 - Members of USA Basketball and the WNBA All-Stars visited the ESPN headquarters in Bristol Thursday afternoon in an effort to further promote Saturday's “WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun" game, airing live at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN.

University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who will coach the USA Basketball team in Saturday's game and in the upcoming World Championships, was on hand to represent the national team, joined by USA Basketball members and WNBA stars Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. The WNBA All-Stars were represented by Chicago's Sylvia Fowles and Seattle Storm head coach Brian Agler. Seattle's Lauren Jackson, expected to be on hand for the festivities, was unable to attend due to a late arrival the day before.

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Stars at the Sun: USA Basketball
A full agenda awaited the entourage as they arrived at the ESPN offices. Below is an expanded list of the events, along with some other highlights along the way.

8:15 a.m.
The group meets in the lobby to receive a quick rundown of events for the day. Bird, Taurasi and Fowles kick off the morning with laughs. After greetings and check ins, the group is directed across campus to the SportsCenter studios.

8:30 a.m.
The players arrive at the SportsCenter set to the sight of flashing "on-air" lights and studio cameras. Coach Auriemma and Taurasi take to the set to talk about various topics, including The Stars at the Sun, USA Basketball, the World Championships and, of course, LeBron's decision.

9:00 a.m.
The group is led to the ESPN cafeteria to snag a quick breakfast. One table over from the group is New Orleans Saints quarterback and Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees. Brees, who was visiting the set to promote his new book, stands up and shakes hands with Taurasi and Bird. The three share a quick chat before Brees excuses himself for business.

9:30 a.m.
The players begin to split up a bit. Taurasi and Bird each head in the same direction to take part in ESPN Rise interviews, while Sylvia Fowles kicks off a group of video interviews that will be posted on ESPN.com. During the Rise interviews, Taurasi and Bird are asked questions about what it was like playing basketball in high school, transitioning to the pro level, how to diet properly and what future stars can expect on all the levels of play. Taurasi insisted on finding a way to work a Bob Marley souvenir into the video (keeps your eyes open for it in the upcoming ESPN Rise interviews). Bird, Taurasi, Auriemma and Agler each closed out the half hour with ESPN.com interviews.

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Stars at the Sun: WNBA All-Stars
10:00 a.m.
A few minutes before 10, WNBA President Donna Orender arrives to run the circuit with ESPN. While she jets off behind a set of doors, Bird is taken aside to participate in an ESPN.com chat . Taurasi and Auriemma step aside for ESPNews segments, but Taurasi quickly catches up with Fowles and new arrival, Sparks head coach Jennifer Gillom, to take the party outside to the ESPN basketball court to conduct a WNBA FIT Skills Clinic. Upon completing her chat, Bird catches up to join in on the fun. The children of ESPN employees were put through a set of skills ranging from passing, dribbling and shooting drills, to jumping rope, sit-ups and jumping jacks.

11:00 a.m.
Following Auriemma's appearance on ESPN First Take, he joins up with Agler, Bird, Taurasi and Orender for the final event of the day. During the newsmaker lunch, staff members of ESPN participated in a panel discussion with the day's guests, while a good number of jokes and laughs were had by all. Upon completion, the players and coaches posed for pictures, signed a few autographs and headed off to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville to settle down for the next batch of events lined up over the rest of the weekend.

Check out a Flip video of the day's events.

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