Bentley, Bone Named All-Star Reserves

NEW YORK, July 21, 2015 – Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm was named an All-Star for the ninth time and Cappie Pondexter of the Chicago Sky earned her seventh honor, the WNBA announced today.  In addition, seven other reserves chosen by the league’s head coaches for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015 – five for the Eastern Conference and two for the Western Conference – were picked as All-Stars for the first time.

Bird, who made her All-Star debut as a rookie in 2002, has been selected to participate in nine of the 10 All-Star Games played since she entered the league (she missed the 2013 season due to injury).  Seven times she was voted in as a starter, and in 2014 she was added to the West squad by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie as an injury replacement for Seimone Augustus.

Pondexter joins Tina Thompson as the only players in league history to be selected to the All-Star Game while representing three different teams.  Pondexter was an All-Star three times apiece with the Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty, and will now represent her hometown Sky.  Thompson, a nine-time All-Star, was selected while playing for the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, and the Storm.

Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015, featuring the Eastern Conference All-Stars against the Western Conference All-Stars at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., will be nationally televised by ABC on Saturday, July 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Highlighting the group of first-time All-Star selections are Western Conference players DeWanna Bonner of the Mercury and Plenette Pierson of the Tulsa Shock, both two-time WNBA champions and former winners of the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year presented by Samsung.  Bonner, who earned championship rings with Phoenix in 2009 and 2014, won the Sixth Woman award in each of her first three seasons in the league (2009-11).  Pierson won league titles with the then-Detroit Shock in 2006 and 2008, and took home the Sixth Woman honor in 2007.

Eastern Conference players making their All-Star debuts are Alex Bentley and Kelsey Bone of the Connecticut Sun, Marissa Coleman of the Indiana Fever, and Stefanie Dolson and Emma Meesseman of the Washington Mystics.

Rounding out the West roster are three reserves who are returning to the All-Star stage.  Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx was selected to her fourth straight All-Star Game and her fifth overall.  The Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike  and Danielle Robinson of the San Antonio Stars are both three-time All-Stars who have each been selected for the third year in a row.

With the addition of Bird and Ogwumike to the West roster, seven former No. 1 overall picks have been named to Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015.  Bird (top pick in 2002) and Ogwumike (2012) join Minnesota’s Augustus (2006), the Atlanta Dream’s Angel McCoughtry (2009), New York’s Tina Charles (2010), Minnesota’s Maya Moore (2011), and Phoenix’s Brittney Griner (2013).

Following are the reserves for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015:

Eastern Conference Reserves:                             Western Conference Reserves:
Alex Bentley, Backcourt (Connecticut)                       Sue Bird, Backcourt (Seattle)
Kelsey Bone, Frontcourt (Connecticut)                      DeWanna Bonner, Backcourt (Phoenix)
Marissa Coleman, Backcourt (Indiana)                      Nneka Ogwumike, Frontcourt (Los Angeles)
Stefanie Dolson, Frontcourt (Washington)                 Plenette Pierson, Frontcourt   (Tulsa)
Emma Meesseman, Frontcourt (Washington)          Danielle Robinson, Backcourt (San Antonio)
Cappie Pondexter, Backcourt (Chicago)                    Lindsay Whalen, Backcourt (Minnesota)

In selecting the reserves, the 12 WNBA head coaches voted for six players within their own conference: two backcourt players, three frontcourt players, and a player from either position.  Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team.

In the case of players who are unable to play due to injury – such as Skylar Diggins, Seimone Augustus, and Lindsay Whalen – replacement players will be named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie.  Any changes to the starting lineup necessitated by injury will subsequently be made by the head coach of the respective All-Star team.

By virtue of winning their respective conference titles last season, Chicago head coach Pokey Chatman will coach the Eastern Conference and Phoenix head coach Sandy Brondello will lead the Western Conference.

Individual tickets for Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2015 start at $16 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, by dialing 800-745-3000 or by visiting the Mohegan Sun Box Office.

Sun Head Coach Anne Donovan on Alex Bentley and Kelsey Bone being named All-Stars
“I think it’s great that both of them have stepped up this season. Both came back understanding we needed more. And with all the injuries we’ve had, they’ve both taken it on themselves to do more and it’s nice to see them rewarded for that.”

Alex Bentley on being named to the All-Star game
“I am really honored to be a part of the All-Star game. I would not be here without the help of my teammates, and I also have to thank coach Donovan, who has put me in a great situation where I had more opportunity to succeed. It’s going to be great to play on my home court.”
 
Kelsey Bone on being named to the All-Star game
“As a little girl, it’s something that you always dream about. It’s a testament to my teammates, and I am excited to be able to represent the Sun at home for this All Star game.”