Trio of Chicago Sky players headline WNBA All-Star reserves

(AP Photo/John Locher)

By DOUG FEINBERG

AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) Courtney Vandersloot, Kahleah Copper and Emma Meesseman will get a chance to play before their home fans, as the trio was selected Tuesday as reserves for the WNBA All-Star Game on July 10 in Chicago.

The Sky stars will join Candace Parker, who was voted as a starter to the game last week.

But Diana Taurasi won't be in Chicago, left off the All-Star list for the first time in her career when healthy. Instead, the 10-time All-Star told The Associated Press she'll be vacationing in Mexico.

"I'm really happy," Taurasi said, laughing. "I always hated All-Star."

Sue Bird, who will be a co-captain for one squad, said her longtime U.S. national team teammate should be there.

"She should have been chosen. It's ridiculous," Bird said. "I feel like Dee should be there. If she's happy going to Cabo, I have to support that."

Other reserve guards picked Tuesday included Washington's Ariel Atkins, Phoenix's Skylar Diggins-Smith, Seattle's Jewell Loyd and Dallas' Arike Ogunbowale. Atlanta rookie Rhyne Howard was also picked by the league's 12 coaches, who voted for three guards, five frontcourt players and four players at either position, regardless of conference.

The coaches were not able to vote for their own players.

Las Vegas' Dearica Hamby, New York's Natasha Howard and Connecticut's Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas also were chosen in the frontcourt. Jones is the only player to make the All-Star Game this season while coming off the bench.

Chicago's James Wade will coach one team, while Las Vegas' Becky Hammon will lead the other. The league announced last week that Breanna Stewart and Sylvia Fowles will co-captain one squad, while Bird and A'ja Wilson will draft for the other. All four were chosen starters. Fowles and Bird announced earlier this year that they would retire after the season ended.

The teams will be drafted on Saturday.

Howard, who played with Bird and Stewart in Seattle before coming over to the Liberty, put in a pitch to play with her former guard.

"I would love to play with Sue one more time," she said after New York's practice Tuesday. "It's her last All-Star Game."

The other starters announced last week included Nneka Ogwumike of Los Angeles, Sabrina Ionescu of New York, Jonquel Jones of Connecticut and Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young of Las Vegas.

Indiana is the only team in the 12-team league without an All-Star.

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Updated June 28, 2022