Delle Donne and Parker choose their teams for All-Star Game
NEW YORK (AP) — The draft is finished and the squads are set for Team Delle Donne and Team Parker in the WNBA All-Star Game.
The league switched its format this year with captains choosing the sides and getting rid of conference affiliations. Both Candace Parker and Elena Delle Donne kept their WNBA teammates close for the game that will be played in Minnesota on July 28.
Delle Donne said she took her Washington Mystics teammate Kristi Toliver first. Parker drafted Sparks teammates Chelsea Gray and Nneka Ogwumike. Ogwumike also will be able to play with sister Chiney for the first time in their pro careers as she’s also on Team Parker.
“I’m thrilled to be able to play with my sister for the first time since Stanford,” Chiney Ogwumike texted the AP.
The draft, which wasn’t publicly revealed, was conducted earlier Thursday via a conference call between the two captains.
“It’s been a lot of fun. I’m glad we only picked earlier this morning as I haven’t had to keep the secret for too long,” Delle Donne said. “Candace and I were going back and forth on the phone. ... How can you go wrong when you have a group of All-Stars.”
Other members of Parker’s team are guards Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd and Allie Quigley. In the frontcourt are Liz Cambage, Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry and Maya Moore. Moore was supposed to be captain of this team as she was the top vote-getter, but declined.
Delle Donne’s team includes Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Kayla McBride and Diana Taurasi. Bird is playing in her record 11th All-Star Game. In the frontcourt will be DeWanna Bonner, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson.
Seven players who were on the 2016 Olympic team in Rio are on Delle Donne’s team.
Here are a few other tidbits from the All-Star teams:
3-POINT SHOOTOUT: For the second consecutive year the WNBA, in partnership with the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, will donate $10,000 to a charity of the winner of the 3-point contest. Allie Quigley won last year and she most likely will try and defend her title, although the league hasn’t released the participants yet.
GOTTA BE THE SHOES: A few of the players have bonuses in their shoe contracts tied to starting the All-Star Game. In the past it would be decided by the fan vote, but this year with the new format, the team captains and coaches will decide who starts on July 27 — the day before the game. When the NBA changed its All-Star format this past season, the fans still chose the starting 10 players before they were drafted by the captains.
The WNBA didn’t release who the top 10 vote-getters were.
LACK OF CONFERENCES: Team Delle Donne features nine players from the Western Conference and two from the Eastern Conference, with five guards and six frontcourt players. Team Parker features seven players from the West and three from the East, with four guards and seven frontcourt players.
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