AT&T WNBA All-Star 2021 will take place on Wednesday, July 14 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, airing live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. Below are storylines for the event.
Proper Send-Off: The 17th WNBA All-Star Game features a matchup between 12 WNBA All-Stars (Team WNBA) and 12 other WNBA All-Stars who comprise the USA Basketball Women’s National Team. The USA National Team is making its final preparations for the Tokyo Games, where the Americans will be seeking their seventh straight Olympic gold medal.
Star Power: The USA National Team is led by WNBA career assists leader Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), who has been named an All-Star for a record 12th time, and WNBA career points leader Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), who is now tied for the second most All-Star selections with 10. Taurasi is one of five WNBA MVP winners on the USA National Team, along with Tina Charles (Washington Mystics), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx), Breanna Stewart (Seattle) and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces)
New On The Scene: Eight players are set to make their WNBA All-Star Game debuts in Las Vegas. The seven first-time All-Stars on Team WNBA are Kahleah Copper (Chicago Sky), Dearica Hamby (Las Vegas) Brionna Jones (Connecticut Sun), Betnijah Laney (New York Liberty), Arike Ogunbowale (Dallas Wings), Satou Sabally (Dallas) and Courtney Williams (Atlanta Dream). USA National Team member Ariel Atkins (Washington) will also play in the All-Star Game for the first time.
Let It Fly: The WNBA MTN DEW 3-Point Contest will take place at halftime of the All-Star Game, airing on ESPN. Two-time 3-Point Contest champion Allie Quigley (Chicago) leads the four-player field, which also includes Team WNBA All-Star Jonquel Jones (Connecticut), USA National Team member Jewell Loyd (Seattle) and the league’s 2021 leader in three-pointers made, Sami Whitcomb (New York)
Legendary Leaders: WNBA legends Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson will serve as co-head coaches of Team WNBA. Leslie and Thompson were both selected among the 20 greatest and most influential players in WNBA history when the league celebrated its 20th season in 2016. In the WNBA All-Star Game, they will coach against USA National Team head coach Dawn Staley, a former WNBA star herself.
Honoring The Past: During the WNBA All-Star Game, the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team will be honored for its impact on women’s sports and its role in launching the WNBA. Six members of the gold-medal-winning team are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie, Rebecca Lobo, Katrina McClain, Dawn Staley and Sheryl Swoopes.