Candice Named To All-Star Team

NEW YORK--Chicago Sky rookie forward Candice Dupree has been named as a replacement player for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game Presented byVonage, it was announced Monday by league president Donna Orender.

Connecticut Sun forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Charlotte Sting forward Tangela Smith and Houston Comets center Michelle Snow also were named as replacement players.

McWilliams-Franklin, Smith and Dupree will fill the spots on the Eastern Conference roster vacated by Tamika Catchings, Becky Hammon and Nykesha Sales. Snow will replace her Comets teammate Tina Thompson on the Western Conference squad. Sales is unable to play due to an Achilles tendon injury; Hammon is out with a sprained left ankle sustained over the weekend; Catchings is hobbled by acute Achilles tendonitis and Thompson will be unavailable with a strained right calf.

Dupree, the sixth pick in the WNBA draft this past April, becomes the fourth rookie named to the squad, joining fellow first-year pros Seimone Augustus, Cappie Pondexter and Sophia Young, the first, second and fourth picks, respectively. The Temple University product is leading the Sky in scoring and rebounds, averaging 13.4 points and 5.7 boards per game. She also tops the Chicago roster in terms of minutes played, averaging 31.2 per outing.

"This is quite an honor," Dupree said Monday. "To be a rookie and to play on an All-Star team is a dream come true."

McWilliams-Franklin, posting 11.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 2006, will make her fifth All-Star appearance and brings the number of Sun players on the All-Star roster to five, a WNBA record. In addition to McWilliams-Franklin and Sales, Connecticut players Margo Dydek and Lindsay Whalen will start for the East and Katie Douglas will make her first All-Star appearance as a reserve.

Smith, in her ninth WNBA season but making her first All-Star appearance, leads the Sting this season with 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Smith ranks among WNBA career leaders in blocks, field goals made, field goals attempted, blocks per game, rebounds, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, points and minutes.

Snow, the WNBA’s Most Improved Player in 2003, makes her second All-Star appearance and is averaging 11.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season. The Comets will be represented by four players In addition to Snow and Thompson, Houston’s Sheryl Swoopes and Dawn Staley were voted as starters by the fans earlier this month.

The game will take place Wednesday, July 12, at 7:30 pm (EST) at Madison Square Garden and will air on ESPN.