This afternoon at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington the women of the WNBA will take the court for their 2017 All Star game.
The Western Conference all stars will be led by 36-year-old Point Guard Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm. Bird who is the oldest active player in the league will be playing in her record tying 10th All Star game and her eighth start. Less than two days ago Bird announced that she was gay and dating soccer star Megan Rapinoe. The 15 year WNBA veteran stated that family and close friends had known for years and she just felt it was time to make the announcement to the public. I say bravo for making the announcement, but I hope that at this day an age hoop fans would recognize and respect Birds hoop game and have no concern about who she is dating.
This season the former UConn star has engineered the Seattle offense to a top five ranking in field goal percentage, three point shots made per game, field goals made per game and assists per game. Bird is averaging 6 assists per game herself and 10 points per contest.
As for the rest of the Western Conference starters, Bird will be joined by the all time leading scorer in WNBA history and another former UConn star in Diana Taurasi who is averaging 18 points per game for the Phoenix Mercury this season. There is another Lady Husky starting for the Western All Stars and that is Maya Moore. The Three-time WNBA champion is scoring 15 points per game while hauling down 5 rebounds per outing for the Minnesota Lynx. Moore’s teammate Sylvia Fowles is the starting Center, this season Fowles has tickled The twine for 20 points per game and 9 rebounds.Two Time WNBA MVP Candace Sparks with 15 point average will start at forward and rounds out the starting squad from the West.
The Eastern Conference starters will be lead by Tina Charles who is playing in her fifth All-star game and is the second leading scorer in the league dropping in 20 points per game for the New York Liberty. Charles is second only to the Mercurys’ Brittany Griner who will miss this year gathering of all stars due to a knee and ankle injury. Former University of Delaware star Elena Delle Donne was elected to be a starter , but she will not play due to an injury. Delle Donne is averaging 18 points a game for the Washington Mystics this season , She will be replaced in the Eastern Conference line up by Alyssa Thomas who has been averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds a contest for the Connecticut Sun. The addition of Thomas to the Eastern Conference Starting line up means that the Sun will have three players starting. Thomas is joining teammates Jasmine Thomas and Jonquel Jones. Jasmine is a point guard and who will team up with Atlanta Dream guard Tiffany Hayes to make up the backcourt of the East.
At halftime of the game, a three point contest will take place. Friday the All Star weekend festivities tipped off with Seattle displaying Orange lights and the WNBA Players walking the Orange carpet before a welcoming reception. In the history of the WNBA Classic which first tipped off in 1999, the West leads the series 9 games to 4. The West won the last game played in 2015 by a score of 117-112 and the year before the East won in overtime 125-125, So there will be no shortage of excitement or scoring.
Trevin A Jones
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