As the WNBA gets set to break for the All-Star Game, held Saturday, July 25, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and televised by ABC starting at 2:30 pm CDT:
1) The Chicago Sky's Elena Delle Donne's on pace to set the WNBA single-season record for scoring average. For the second year straight, Delle Donne (25.8 ppg) led the Eastern Conference with 18,034 votes.
- In 2013, she became the first rookie in WNBA history to earn the most votes overall.
- Delle Donne's archrival, Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever, was selected to the All-Star Game for a record 10th time, all starts.
- Catchings (9,923 votes) tied with Tina Thompson for the most overall selections.
Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins, who was selected as a starter for the second straight year, and Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore paced the Western Conference and ranked second and third overall with 15,895 and 13,706 votes, respectively.
The Eastern Conference backcourt includes Shoni Schimmel of the Atlanta Dream (8,881 votes), who was selected as a starter for the second straight year. Lining up alongside Catchings in the frontcourt for the East will be Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream (7,619) and 2012 league MVP Tina Charles of the New York Liberty (6,129), both selected for the fourth time overall. McCoughtry will be making her fourth start, Charles her second.
Moore, a four-time selection and four-time starter, will be joined in the West frontcourt by Phoenix Mercury stars Brittney Griner (7,138) and Candice Dupree (5,954). Griner, the reigning WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, was selected as a starter for the third time in three seasons. Dupree, a five-time All-Star, was voted in as a starter for the first time.
Along with Diggins, the other backcourt player selected to start for the West is six-time All-Star Seimone Augustus of Minnesota (9,599), making the second All-Star start of her career.
However, Augustus and Skylar Diggins are out due to injury. Lindsey Whalen is questionable for the West on reserve. Look for the reserves to log significant minutes
2) Chicago Sky Head Coach and General Manager Pokey Chatman and her coaching staff will lead the Eastern Conference team, by virtue of winning the Eastern Conference in 2014. However, Assistant Coach Wayne “Tree” Rollins is temporarily away from the team to tend to an ongoing medical condition.
In Rollins’ absence, the Sky’s Head Video Coordinator, Jonah Herscu, will serve as Interim Assistant Coach.
3) First-time All-Stars Include: Western Conference players DeWanna Bonner of the Mercury and Plenette Pierson of the Tulsa Shock. Bonner, who earned championship rings with Phoenix in 2009 and 2014, won the Sixth Woman award in each of her first three seasons in the league (2009-11). Pierson won league titles with the then-Detroit Shock in 2006 and 2008, and took home the Sixth Woman honor in 2007.
Eastern Conference players making their All-Star debuts are Alex Bentley and Kelsey Bone of the Connecticut Sun, Marissa Coleman of the Indiana Fever, and Stefanie Dolson and Emma Meesseman of the Washington Mystics.
Rounding out the West roster are three reserves who are returning to the All-Star stage. Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx was selected to her fourth straight All-Star Game and her fifth overall. The Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike and Danielle Robinson of the San Antonio Stars are both three-time All-Stars who have each been selected for the third year in a row.
With the addition of Bird and Ogwumike to the West roster, seven former No. 1 overall picks have been named. Bird (top pick in 2002) and Ogwumike (2012) join Minnesota’s Augustus (2006), the Atlanta Dream’s Angel McCoughtry (2009), New York’s Tina Charles (2010), Minnesota’s Maya Moore (2011), and Phoenix’s Brittney Griner (2013).
Eastern Conference Reserves:
Alex Bentley, Backcourt (Connecticut)
Kelsey Bone, Frontcourt (Connecticut)
Marissa Coleman, Backcourt (Indiana) Nneka Ogwumike, Frontcourt (Los Angeles)
Stefanie Dolson, Frontcourt (Washington) Plenette Pierson, Frontcourt (Tulsa)
Emma Meesseman, Frontcourt (Washington) Danielle Robinson, Backcourt (San Antonio)
Cappie Pondexter, Backcourt (Chicago) Lindsay Whalen, Backcourt (Minnesota)
4) This is the last time the Tulsa Shock will participate in an All-Star Game On Thursday, the WNBA announced the team was moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area starting in 2016.WNBA owners unanimously approved the relocation of the Tulsa Shock to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
"The WNBA is extremely grateful to the city of Tulsa and the team’s loyal fans. The support they have shown for the Shock and women’s professional basketball over the past six seasons has been tremendous," said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. "We look forward to having our first team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
As the fourth largest metropolitan area in the U.S., Dallas-Fort Worth represents a well-established professional sports market with one of the top five national media markets.
According to a WNBA press release, the Shock will play at College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, subject to approval by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. Additional information about the team will be forthcoming.
The Sky will return to action on Tuesday, July 28th, as they take on the Phoenix Mercury in Talking Stick Resort Arena at 9:00 p.m CT. This game will be broadcast on The U Too and WNBA LiveAccess.