Tuesday, July 14, 2009

STARTING LINEUPS ANNOUNCED FOR 2009 WNBA ALL-STAR GAME

Photo by Brian St-Pierre - In Play! magazine

Tamika Catchings Ranks as Top Vote-Getter in WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile USA, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird Follow Closely Behind.

NEW YORK, NY, July 14, 2009 – The starting lineups for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game as selected by the fans have been announced today. Indiana Fever forward and six-time All-Star Tamika Catchings led all players with 94,316 votes following the final returns of 2009 WNBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile. Catchings received the most votes for the second time, having also earned the honor in 2006.

San Antonio Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon (88,991), Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson (88,685) and Storm guard Sue Bird (88,591) followed closely behind Catchings’ as leading vote-getters and topped all players in the Western Conference.

Through the 2009 WNBA All-Star Balloting Program presented by T-Mobile, fans were responsible for voting in the starters for the WNBA All-Star Game, which will be played at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25. The game will be nationally televised on ABC beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. It will mark the second time that the midseason classic is played at Mohegan Sun Arena, which also hosted the WNBA All-Star festivities in 2005.

Joining Catchings in the Eastern Conference starting lineup are Chicago Sky forward Candice Dupree, Sky center Sylvia Fowles, Washington Mystics guard Alana Beard and Fever guard Katie Douglas. It marks the first time that Douglas, Dupree, Fowles and Beard have been voted as starters by the fans. Douglas, a three-time All-Star and the 2006 All-Star MVP, and Beard, a four-time All-Star, were both inserted into the starting lineup in 2006 due to injuries. Fowles is a first-time All-Star while Dupree makes her third appearance.

Familiar names in WNBA All-Star history make up the Western Conference starting lineup as Hammon, Jackson and Bird are joined by Storm forward Swin Cash and Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie. Leslie, a three time All-Star MVP, now leads all players in WNBA history with eight All-Star appearances. Hammon makes her fifth appearance in the midseason classic while Jackson is a seven-time All-Star, Bird makes her sixth appearance and Cash is named for the third time. Cash also becomes just the third player in WNBA history to start for both the East and West squads (Dawn Staley, Hammon).

Following are the starting lineups for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game:

Eastern Conference Starters:
Katie Douglas, Guard (Indiana Fever)
Alana Beard, Guard (Washington Mystics)
Sylvia Fowles, Center (Chicago Sky)
Candice Dupree, Forward (Chicago Sky)
Tamika Catchings, Forward (Indiana Fever)

Western Conference Starters:
Sue Bird, Guard (Seattle Storm)
Becky Hammon, Guard (San Antonio Silver Stars)
Lisa Leslie, Center (Los Angeles Sparks)
Swin Cash, Forward (Seattle Storm)
Lauren Jackson, Forward (Seattle Storm)

The 13 WNBA head coaches will select the reserves by voting for six players within their conference, including two guards, two forwards, one center and one player regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their team.
As previously announced, San Antonio Head Coach Dan Hughes will coach the West by virtue of winning the 2008 Western Conference title. The East will be led by Indiana Head Coach Lin Dunn, who was named the coach after the Fever clinched the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference for games through July 15. This method was used because Bill Laimbeer, head coach of the 2008 Eastern Conference champion Detroit Shock, stepped down from his post in early June.

In Play! magazine

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