- Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.
The defending champion Chicago Sky will be well-represented at the WNBA All-Star Game in the Windy City, as three Sky players are among 12 reserves announced by the league Tuesday. Guard/forward Kahleah Copper, forward Emma Meesseman and guard Courtney Vandersloot join Sky forward/center Candace Parker, who was voted in as one of 10 starters last week, for the July 10 game at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena (ABC, 1 p.m. ET).
Copper, the 2021 WNBA Finals MVP, Parker and Vandersloot were all part of the Sky team that won the title. Meesseman, who signed with Chicago this year, was the Finals MVP in 2019 when she was with Washington.
The All-Star reserves were chosen by the league’s coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players. The starters were chose by a vote of fans, players and media.
The reserve guards along with Copper and Vandersloot are this year’s No. 1 draft pick Rhyne Howard of Atlanta, Washington’s Ariel Atkins, Phoenix’s Skylar Diggins-Smith, Seattle’s Jewell Loyd and Dallas’ Arike Ogunbowale.
Joining Meesseman among reserve front-court players are Las Vegas’ Dearica Hamby, New York’s Natasha Howard and Connecticut’s Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas.
Las Vegas A’ja Wilson and Seattle’s Breanna Stewart, both forwards, were the top two vote-getters among fans and are co-captains, along with Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles and the Seattle guard Sue Bird, who both have said they will retire at season’s end. Fowles will pair with Stewart; Bird with Wilson. Las Vegas’ Becky Hammon will coach Team Wilson, while Chicago’s James Wade will coach Team Stewart.
Team Wilson and Team Stewart captains will pick their rosters during the WNBA All-Star Team Selection Special on Saturday (ESPN, 3 p.m. ET). They will choose first from the remaining six starters and then from the 12 reserves. Wilson, No. 1 in fan votes, makes the first pick.
The starters were announced June 22. Along with the Wilson, Stewart, Fowles, Bird and Parker, they are Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones and Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike, both forwards, and New York’s Sabrina Ionescu and Las Vegas’ Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young, all guards.
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