Og­wu­mike, Griner, Ste­wart head­line WNBA All-Star re­serves

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

There will be a lot of fresh faces in Seat­tle for the All-Star Game this week­end, in­clud­ing reign­ing rookie of the year Bre­anna Ste­wart. The Storm’s lead­ing scorer was one of six re­serves an­nounced on Tues­day night who will be play­ing in their first All-Star con­test.

She’s joined on the West team by Los An­ge­les’ Nneka Og­wu­mike and Chelsea Gray, Dal­las’ Sky­lar Dig­gin­sSmith, Min­nesota’s Sei­mone Au­gus­tus and Phoenix’s Brit­tney Griner.

Griner, the league’s lead­ing scorer, won’t play though af­ter in­jur­ing her an­kle and knee last week. WNBA Pres­i­dent Lisa Bor­ders will an­nounce a re­place­ment for Griner yes­ter­day. Ste­wart and Gray will be play­ing in the game for the first time. The East has four re­serves com­pet­ing in their first All-Star con­test. At­lanta team­mates Layshia Claren­don and El­iz­a­beth Wil­liams will be mak­ing their first ap­pear­ances. So will Chicago’s Al­lie Quigley and Con­necti­cut’s Alyssa Thomas. They are joined by Chicago’s Ste­fanie Dol­son and In­di­ana’s Candice Dupree to round out the East re­serves. With starters Tif­fany Hayes, Jon­quel Jones and Jas­mine Thomas all play­ing in their first All-Star Games, the East has seven first-timers.

Dupree and starter Tina Charles are the only two play­ers on the East team who have been se­lected more than twice since Elena Delle Donne is out with an in­jury She too will be re­placed by Bor­ders to­day. “It’s great to see so many new faces and we’ll have a good time out there,” Charles said of all the All-Star rook­ies.

DuPree is the third player to make the All-Star Game with three dif­fer­ent teams, do­ing it with Chicago, Phoenix and now In­di­ana. She joins Cap­pie Pon­dex­ter and Tina Thomp­son. While Charles is the lone rep­re­sen­ta­tive from New York, for now, At­lanta and Con­necti­cut each have three play­ers com­pet­ing.

“I’m so, so ex­cited to be part of the All-Star team this year,” Wil­liams said. “It’s even more ex­cit­ing that I get to share this time with two of my team­mates, Tip (Tif­fany Hayes) and Lay (Layshia Claren­don). Seat­tle is an awe­some bas­ket­ball city so I’m look­ing for­ward to a great week­end.” —AP

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