The Chicago Sky and Connecticut Sun will each have three players on Team WNBA in the league’s All-Star Game on July 14 in Las Vegas.
The contest will feature Team WNBA vs. Team USA, whose members are competing in the upcoming Olympics.
In all, there are seven players on Team WNBA making their All-Star debuts. The player with the most All-Star experience on Team WNBA is Chicago forward/center Candace Parker, who will be making her sixth appearance. She’s joined by Sky teammates Courtney Vandersloot, the point guard who leads the league in assists (third All-Star Game), and Kahleah Copper (first).
“It means a lot, you never take for granted the opportunity to be an All-Star,” said Parker, who will be announcing the basketball medal rounds for NBC at the Tokyo Games and will be representing her hometown city for the first time in her career.
Forward/guard DeWanna Bonner (fourth appearance) and forwards Jonquel Jones (third) and Brionna Jones (first) will represent the Sun on the 12-player Team WNBA that was announced Wednesday.
The Las Vegas Aces have two players on Team WNBA: center Liz Cambage (fourth appearance) and forward Dearica Hamby (first). The Dallas Wings also have two players on the team, both first-timers: guard Arike Ogunbowale and forward Satou Sabally.
Rounding out Team WNBA are two other first-time All-Stars: New York guard/forward Betnijah Laney and Atlanta guard Courtney Williams.
The All-Stars were voted on by fans (50%), WNBA players (25%) and media (25%). The list of the top 36 vote-getters who were not on Team USA was provided to the WNBA coaches, who then selected the 12 All-Stars.
The co-head coaches for Team WNBA will be former WNBA players Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson.
Team USA was named on June 21 and will be coached by another former WNBA player, Dawn Staley, the head coach at South Carolina. Its members are: Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); Skylar Diggins-Smith, Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); Chelsea Gray and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces); Ariel Atkins and Tina Charles (Washington Mystics); and Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx).,
Bird is making her 12th appearance in the All-Star Game, and Taurasi her 10th. It’s the eighth for Charles, the seventh for Fowles and Griner, the fifth for Diggins-Smith, the fourth for Gray, the third for Loyd, Stewart and Wilson, the second for Collier and the first for Atkins.
The 2021 WNBA All-Star Game will be held at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and airs at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. This is the first time that the league has held an All-Star Game in an Olympic year since 2000. The WNBA played an exhibition in New York in 2004 at Radio City Music Hall, but it wasn’t considered an All-Star Game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.