Reserves For July 15 All-Star Festivities To Be Announced July 9

Kara Braxton, Cheryl Ford and Deanna Nolan Named Starters for Eastern Conference All-Star Team

Auburn Hills, MI - The WNBA announced the starters for the 2007 WNBA All-Star Game Tuesday evening, and three Shock players - center Kara Braxton, guard Deanna Nolan and forward Cheryl Ford - are among the starting five for the Eastern Conference when the best the WNBA has to offer takes center stage at Washington’s Verizon Center on Sunday, July 15.

Braxton and Nolan were the leading vote getters at their positions, while Ford was edged out by Indiana forward Tamika Catchings. Detroit narrowly missed having all five of its starters represented in the All-Star Game as Katie Smith finished third in voting among Eastern Conference guards and Swin Cash finished fourth among forwards.

The coaches from each conference will select the six reserves for their respective teams via secret balloting this week. Reserves will be announced on Monday, July 9.

With 128,838 votes, Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird is the leading vote-getter in the 2007 WNBA All-Star Balloting Program presented by AOL and T-Mobile. Following closely behind are Phoenix Mercury forward Diana Taurasi (124,918) and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings (124,144).

Now a five-time All-Star, Bird is averaging 10.4 points, 4.6 assists 1.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in 2007. Taurasi, a three-time All-Star, ranks sixth in the League with 18.2 points to go along with 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Catchings, another five-time All-Star, averages 16.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 3.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.

Two players - Anna DeForge and Braxton - join the lineup as first time All-Stars. San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, who was traded from the New York Liberty to the Silver Stars prior to the 2007 season, becomes just the second player in WNBA history to be voted as a starter for both the East and the West squads during her career. Dawn Staley became the first to accomplish this feat last season.

While the reserves for both conferences will be announced on Monday, July 9, the following are the starting lineups for the 2007 WNBA All-Star Game:

Eastern Conference Starters: Western Conference Starters:
Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) Forward Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury)
Cheryl Ford (Detroit Shock) Forward Lauren Jackson (Seattle Storm)
Deanna Nolan (Detroit Shock) Guard Sue Bird (Seattle Storm)
Anna DeForge (Indiana Fever) Guard Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars)
Kara Braxton (Detroit Shock) Center Yolanda Griffith (Sacramento Monarchs)

Fans worldwide took part in the WNBA All-Star Balloting Program presented by AOL and T-Mobile, voting for their favorite players to be starters in the eighth WNBA All-Star Game from May 22 - June 24.

As previously announced, Bill Laimbeer of the Detroit Shock and Jenny Boucek of the Sacramento Monarchs will coach the Eastern and Western Conference All-Stars, respectively. Laimbeer will lead the Eastern Conference by virtue of having guided his club to the Eastern Conference crown (and ultimately the WNBA championship) last season. Boucek, meanwhile, earned the honor following a change in the method by which the Western Conference head coach would be selected in 2007.

Pursuant to WNBA guidelines, the coach of the previous season's conference champion typically serves as the All-Star coach for that conference, provided that he or she remains in the same capacity. As John Whisenant resigned his head coaching position with the Monarchs after leading the club to the 2006 Western Conference title and is now serving as the team’s General Manager, the Western Conference All-Star coach was selected on the basis of the team with the best winning percentage through July 1.

Tickets at all price points can be purchased through WNBA.com, via Ticketmaster.com, at select Macy*s Department Stores in the Washington, D.C. area, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-202-397-SEAT. Tickets are also available for purchase at the Verizon Center Box Office.

WNBA players will be extremely visible around Washington, D.C. during All-Star Weekend, participating in community outreach initiatives that will leave lasting and positive impressions in the Washington, D.C. area. Several projects will take place, including the Nike/WNBA Court Refurbishment and the opening of a Reading and Learning Center through the WNBA Cares Legacy Event in conjunction with Toyota.

Also on July 15, select WNBA players will again compete against each other in the Dribble, Dish & Swish Skills Challenge as well as the Three-Point Shoot Out, both of which are sponsored by adidas and included in the price of admission to the All-Star Game.

Additionally, the second annual All-Star Salute: Celebrating Inspiration Luncheon will take place in the nation’s capital on July 13 at the Mayflower Hotel, honoring women who inspire, motivate and help ignite the dreams and aspirations of women in all fields of endeavor. The event will be highlighted by the presentation of the WNBA Inspiration Award which will be given to an individual or group who on a daily basis demonstrates the ability to inspire others through their commitment, passion and dedication to work, family and community.

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL RETURNS
Forwards: Tamika Catchings (Ind) 124,144; Cheryl Ford (Det) 117,736; Tamika Whitmore (Ind) 85,460; Swin Cash (Det) 84,714; Candice Dupree (Chi) 69,279; Cathrine Kraayeveld (NY) 54,791; Shameka Christon (NY) 53,453; Delisha Milton-Jones (Wash) 51,414; Monique Currie (Wash) 49,605; Nykesha Sales (Conn) 42,414; Asjha Jones (Conn) 35,555; Crystal Robinson (Wash) 18,297.

Centers: Kara Braxton (Det) 121,436; Tammy Sutton-Brown (Ind) 78,798; Kayte Christensen (Chi) 65,539; Chasity Melvin (Chi) 61,588; Jessica Davenport (NY) 53,172; Margo Dydek (Conn) 45,841.

Guards: Deanna Nolan (Det) 95,058; Anna DeForge (Ind) 84,498; Katie Smith (Det) 79,798; Tully Bevilaqua (Ind) 76,016; Alana Beard (Wash) 75,817; Loree Moore (NY) 62,516; Lindsay Whalen (Conn) 57,953; Nikki Teasley (Wash) 53,750; Katie Douglas (Conn) 50,150; Sherill Baker (NY) 41,371; Stacey Dales (Chi) 41,125; Dominique Canty (Chi) 35,025.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL RETURNS
Forwards: Diana Taurasi (Phx) 124,918; Lauren Jackson (Sea) 102,800; Penny Taylor (Phx) 55,653; Vickie Johnson (SA) 54,480; Sheryl Swoopes (Hou) 50,352; Nicole Powell (Sac) 49,414; Tina Thompson (Hou) 41,876; Svetlana Abrosimova (Minn) 40,208; Chamique Holdsclaw (LA) 39,596; DeMya Walker (Sac) 31,945; Sophia Young (SA) 27,947; Barbara Turner (Hou) 17,742; Carla Thomas (LA) 13,564; Tamika Raymond (Minn) 12,275.

Centers: Yolanda Griffith (Sac) 87,895; Janell Burse (Sea) 70,697; Tangela Smith (Phx) 52,980; Taj McWilliams-Franklin (LA) 42,494; Ruth Riley (SA) 41,883; Michelle Snow (Hou) 28,832; Nicole Ohlde (Minn) 19,786.

Guards: Sue Bird (Sea) 128,838; Becky Hammon (SA) 98,694; Cappie Pondexter (Phx) 69,347; Seimone Augustus (Minn) 68,313; Betty Lennox (Sea) 65,033; Kara Lawson (Sac) 62,986; Kelly Miller (Phx) 60,043; Ticha Penicheiro (Sac) 52,075; Lindsey Harding (Minn) 39,961; Marie Ferdinand-Harris (SA) 28,297; Mwadi Mabika (LA) 16,947; Hamchetou Maiga-Ba (Hou) 16,229; Temeka Johnson (LA) 13,117; Roneeka Hodges (Hou) 10,333.