AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The WNBA announced today that Detroit Shock guard and 2008 WNBA Finals MVP Katie Smith has been named a 2009 WNBA All-Star Eastern Conference reserve. The All-Star reserves were selected by coaches in their respective conferences. Coaches could not vote for players on their own team The All-Star Game, the ninth in league history, will be held on Saturday, July 25 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. and will be televised nationally on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Smith, who is in her 11th WNBA season, earns her seventh All-Star appearance, second as a member of the Shock, and is the sole representative of the defending champion Shock this year.
Through 13 games this season, Smith is averaging 14.7 points and 2.9 assists.
In her first All-Star appearance as a member of the Shock in 2006, Smith scored 14 points to help the East defeat the West for the first time in league history, 98-82. That made Smith, previously an All-Star for Minnesota (2000-2003, 2005) in the West, the first WNBA player to win the All-Star game as a member of both conferences.
Following are the reserves for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game:
|Eastern Conference Reserves:
||Western Conference Reserves:
|Katie Smith (Detroit Shock), Guard
||Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Guard
|Jia Perkins (Chicago Sky), Guard
||Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury), Guard/Forward
|Sancho Lyttle (Atlanta Dream), Forward/Center
||Nicky Anosike (Minnesota Lynx), Center
|Shameka Christon (New York Liberty), Forward
||Tina Thompson (Los Angeles Sparks), Forward
|Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Forward
||Charde Houston (Minnesota Lynx), Forward
|Erika de Souza (Atlanta Dream), Forward/Center
||Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars), Forward
About the Eastern Conference Reserves:
Originally a third-round pick in the 2004 draft, Chicago’s Jia Perkins joins starting teammates Candice Dupree and Sylvia Fowles in Connecticut for her first All-Star appearance. In 2009, she is averaging 2.4 steals per game, which ranks fourth in the WNBA, along with 15.5 points per game.
Atlanta’s Sancho Lyttle earns her first All-Star nod and will join fellow Dream front court member Erika de Souza in Uncasville, Conn. Lyttle has collected 114 total rebounds (third in WNBA), and is averaging 13.5 points per contest.
Shameka Christon receives her first All-Star selection in her sixth year in the league. Christon is tallying 19.0 points per game and has been dangerous from beyond the arc, nailing 39 three-pointers, third-best in the league.
The host Connecticut Sun will be represented by Asjha Jones who earns her second All-Star appearance. Jones is tied for eighth in the WNBA in scoring, averaging 16.6 points along with 5.8 rebounds in 2009.
Erika de Souza, the league’s top rebounder, is averaging 8.6 boards and 11.5 points in 2009. She gets her first career All-Star appearance.
About the Western Conference Reserves:
Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi receives her fourth All-Star nod as she paces the WNBA in scoring with 20.7 points per game. Taurasi also leads the league in three-pointers (46) and is tied for second in blocks (27).
The league’s most prolific backcourt will be well represented at this year’s contest as Cappie Pondexter joins Taurasi in Uncasville, Conn. for her third All-Star game. Pondexter ranks second in the league in scoring (20.2) and leads the WNBA in assists (5.9).
Nicky Anosike joins Lynx teammate Charde Houston in her first All-Star game. The center ranks third in the league in rebounding (7.4) and second in steals (3.1) while averaging 13.9 points per contest.
Tina Thompson, the 13-year veteran, ties Sparks’ teammate and fellow All-Star Lisa Leslie with her record-setting eighth All-Star selection. She is averaging 6.8 rebounds and 13.0 points in her first season with Los Angeles.
Minnesota’s Charde Houston makes her first All-Star appearance in only her second season. Houston, who becomes the fifth player from UConn in this year’s All-Star Game, has racked up 14.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
San Antonio’s Sophia Young will be playing in her third All-Star contest in her short four-year career. Young is averaging 16.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 2009.
(all statistics and rankings based on games played through Sunday, July 19)
San Antonio Head Coach Dan Hughes will coach the West by virtue of winning the 2008 Western Conference title. The East will be led by Indiana Head Coach Lin Dunn, who was named the coach after the Fever clinched the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference for games through July 15. This method was used because Bill Laimbeer, head coach of the 2008 Eastern Conference champion Detroit Shock, stepped down from his post in early June.