Candace Parker leads WNBA All-Star selections with sixth appearance
The WNBA announced its 2021 All-Stars on Wednesday with Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker making her sixth All-Star appearance next month.
The 12-person team will face Team USA on Wednesday, July 14. The All-Star team will be coached by WNBA legends Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson.
Who are 2021 WNBA All-Stars?
There will be seven first-time All-Stars in this year's format. Notably, Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike was also left off the All-Star roster.
Player, team, ASG appearances
Candace Parker, Chicago Sky, sixth
Liz Cambage, Las Vegas Aces, fourth
DeWanna Bonner, Connecticut Sun, fourth
Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun, third
Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago Sky, third
Kahleah Copper, Chicago Sky, first
Dearica Hamby, Las Vegas Aces, first
Brionna Jones, Connecticut Sun, first
Betnijah Laney, New York Liberty, first
Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings, first
Satou Sabally, Dallas Wings, first
Courtney Williams, Atlanta Dream, first
The All-Stars were selected by fan vote (50%), current player votes (25%) and a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters (25%). The top 36 vote-getters from all ballots went to WNBA coaches, who voted it down to a final 12. Coaches could not vote for their own players.
How does 2021 WNBA All-Star Game work?
The WNBA does not typically host a midseason All-Star Game during Olympic years, but is adjusting its format to make it work this year.
The game will pit Team USA against the WNBA All-Stars who are not part of the national team. The game will be played in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14 to close the first half of the WNBA's 25th anniversary season. The national team is hosting training camp for the Olympics there from July 12-18.
The final game of the first half will be played Sunday, July 11. The second half resumes following the Olympics with the Commissioner's Cup game on Aug. 12 in Phoenix. The Connecticut Sun (6-1) lead the Eastern Conference and the Seattle Storm (5-1) lead the Western Conference.
Surging Sun, Sky lead Team WNBA
Team WNBA will have three Sky players and Sun players on the roster. The Storm and Aces remain favorites for the title (each at +240 odds by Bet MGM), and it's the Sky and Sun directly behind them in chances and in standings.
Parker led the Sky on a seven-game win streak after they started the season 2-7 largely without their key starters. The veteran missed time with an ankle injury, but has returned to average 12.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in nine outings. Copper leads the Sky with 13.9 points per game in all 17 games. And Vandersloot continues to be one of the game's best distributors with a league-best 8.5 assists per game, two more than second-place guard Chelsea Gray.
The Sun have had a similar, albeit shorter, roller-coaster ride when Jonquel Jones is and is not on the floor. The 6-foot-6 center is third in league scoring (21.7 ppg) and first in rebounds (10.9). While she was at EuroBasket, the Sun went 2-3 in her absence. Bonner picked up much of the weight and is averaging 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in similar minutes.
Brionna Jones will make her first All-Star appearance, averaging 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and shooting 54.7% overall.
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