For the first time in her already impressive career, Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve will be running the WNBA Western Conference All-Stars. She’s bringing along assistant coaches Shelly Patterson, and Jim Peterson as well as four members of the Lynx roster.
“She (Coach Reeve) is always striving to push us to be better. That’s the coaches job, to anticipate the weak spots and try to make us better at those weak spots…For the coaches to be represented at the All- Star game is fun too. I think it’s good for them to be able to get some recognition, and have some fun as well.”
Lynx guard and Western Conference All-Star Maya Moore
Another historic first for the Lynx franchise will be to have three players starting in the All-Star contest. Seimone Augustus (4th All-Star selection) and Maya Moore (2nd All-Star selection) were both voted into the starting line-up.
Teammate Rebekkah Brunson (3rd All-Star selection) was named a starter following the injury the Phoenix center Brittney Griner. They will be joined by WNBA scoring leader Diana Taurasi (5th All-Star selection) from the Phoenix Mercury, as well as long overdue center/forward Candice Parker (1st All-Star selection) from the L.A. Sparks.
The Western Conference reserves are headed up by Minnesota guard Lindsay Whalen (3rd All-Star selection) who has been in the zone practically all season long, as well as guards Glory Johnson from Tulsa, Kristi Toliver of the Sparks, and Danielle Robinson from San Antonio.
The bigs of the bench for the west feature Nneka Ogwumike from the L.A. Sparks and Seattle Storm veteran Tina Thompson, filling the roster spot vacated by the injured Brittney Griner.
“We feel really good about the last three seasons and what we’ve done…I appreciate the coaches voting the way the did, because sometimes when you have the balance that we have with so many good players…they could have bigger stats on other teams, and sometimes that could be held against them. So I really appreciate what the coaches did to acknowledge how good those four players really are.”
Lynx Head Coach and Western Conference All-Star Cheryl Reeve
They face an Eastern Conference team that has a ton of talent. reigning MVP Tina Charles is playing at home representing the Connecticut Sun. She is joined by Finals MVP Tamika Catchings from the Indiana Fever. In addition, Chicago Sky guard Epiphanny Prince adds a volatile scoring option, as do starers Cappie Pondexter from the Liberty and Angel McCoughtry from the Atlanta Dream.
The Eastern Conference has a little bit more size from their reserves with bigs Sylvia Fowles from the Chicago Sky, Crystal Langhorne of the Washington Mystics, and Erika de Souza from Atlanta filling in for Chicago Sky rookie Elena Delle Donne (the top vote-getter for the WNBA All-Star game).
Connecticut guard Allison Hightower will also enjoy home court, and be joined in the backcourt by guards Ivory Latta from the Mystics, and Shavonte Zellous of the Fever.
The Eastern All-Stars will be directed by Indiana Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn and it will be interesting to see how the interactions between her and Western Coach Cheryl Reeve will differ from during last year’s WNBA Finals series.
The game marks only the sixth time in WNBA history four players from the same team have been included in the All-Star game, and the second time that honor has been achieved by the Minnesota Lynx.
“It’s definitely an honor, I’m proud of it. I think it’s going to be exciting for us four to go there and represent the West and also represent the Lynx. We’re going to have our coaching staff so I think it’s going to be a great experience, and we’re all going to enjoy it.”
Lynx forward and Western Conference All-Star Rebekkah Brunson