2011 WNBA All- Star Game: The Western Conference's Roster and Why They'll Win
The 2011 WNBA All-Star game is full of history.
From the location of the game—San Antonio will be hosting it for the first time—to the college, championships and coach familiarity between the starters of the West.
So here is the break down of the Western Conference roster for this year’s WNBA All-Star game.
Guard Sue Bird (Seattle Storm):
Drafted by the Storm in 2002 as the first overall pick, Bird came in at second in the votes for this year’s All-Star game.
With an outstanding background with the University of Connecticut, Bird will be a terrific addition as a starter for the West.
During her senior year at UConn in 2002, Bird was a member of the undefeated champs while receiving individual accolades as well. From the Wade Trophy to the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, she won it all. She was ranked first in three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage; she was second in assists and steals and a three time winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award.
As a five time All-Star Starter, she is also one of seven women to win an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA Championship and a WNBA Championship.
2011 Stats (average): 0.473 field goal percentage, 0.409 three-point percentage, 0.826 free throw percentage, 2.8 rebounds per game, 5.2 assists per game, 1.4 steals per game and 15.5 points per game.
Guard Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury):
Despite her recent DUI arrest in 2009 and her stimulant test and clearance accusation in 2010, Taurasi is another huge asset to the West in this year’s All-Star game.
Coming in at third in the All-Star Starters nomination votes, Taurasi has a history with former UConn member Sue Bird.
She helped UConn win three consecutive championships (2002, 2003, 2004). In addition, her college honors are amazing in that she was the Naismith College Player of the Year Award in ’03 and ’04, a Wade Trophy recipient in ’03 and the ’03 Associated Press Player of the Year.
She is also fortunate enough to be a member of the 2007 and 2009 WNBA Championship teams.
2011 stats (average): 0.439 field goal percentage, 0.357 three-point percentage, 0.902 free throw percentage, 3.1 rebounds per game, 3.9 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game and 19.3 points per game.
Forward Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx):
Moore is definitely one to watch in this year’s All-Star game as the first overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft.
As a rookie with the Lynx, Moore is not only the youngest to start in this year’s game, but she is also the first rookie to start since Bird and Catchings joined the league in 2002.
As another UConn player on the West’s roster, Moore also has two NCAA championships under her belt (2009 and 2010). Likewise, her personal achievements are just outstanding as her All-Star teammates. Moore is the 2006 and 2007 Naismith Award winner and the 2009 John Wooden Award winner.
2011 Stats (average): 0.432 field goal percentage, 0.313 three-point percentage, 0.833 free-throw percentage, 5.0 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, 1.0 steals per game and 14.2 points per game.
Forward Swin Cash (Seattle Storm):
Like the majority of her teammates, Cash is another player on this year’s roster from UConn and another player with NCAA championships on her resume (2000 and 2002).
Although she was selected at number two in the 2002 draft, it wasn’t until her second season in the WNBA where she would show her true talent and lead the Detroit Shock to their first ever title in 2003.
Unfortunately, due to relationship problems with her Detroit coach, she was traded in 2004 to the Seattle Storm, where she has won another championship.
2011 stats (average): 0.417 field goal percentage, 0.288 three-point percentage, 0.886 free throw percentage, 6.5 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game and 16.4 points per game.
Center Candace Parker # (Los Angeles Sparks):
She doesn’t have the UConn Connection with her All-Star teammates, but Candace Parker has made history in an extraordinary manner.
Along with two NCAA Championships ('07 and '08), she was the first to dunk in a NCAA tournament and the first to dunk twice in one college game.
Additionally, she won the Southeastern Conference Rookie of the Year and the 2006 SEC Tournament Championship with Tennessee.
In the WNBA, she was the second to dunk and make history, despite her infamous court brawl with Plenette Pierson.
2011 stats (average): 0.505 field goal percentage, 0.333 three point percentage, 0.759 free throw percentage, 9.9 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game, 1.1 steals per game and 17.7 points per game.
# denotes injured and will be unable to participate
Western Conference Reserves and Head Coach
Guard Becky Hammon and Forward Danielle Adams (San Antonio Silver Stars);
Forward Penny Taylor (Phoenix Mercury);
Forward Rebekkah Brunson, Guard Seimone Augustus and Guard Lindsay Whalan (Minnesota Lynx).
Head Coach Brian Agler (Seattle Storm):
As current head coach of the Seattle Storm, Agler won Coach of the Year in 2010, and his team won the WNBA title in 2010 as well.
There is no reason the West should not prevail in this year’s game.
From the several former UConn and current Minnesota members, to the few who have won NCAA Championships and WNBA titles, and to the two who are coached on a regular basis by the West’s head coach…there is an unbreakable bond that can’t separate this team and lead them to a victory.
Lest we forget, of the nine previous All-Star games*, the West has won seven….why not make history by winning the 10th All-Star game ever played during the 15th anniversary of the WNBA.
*There was no All-Star game in 2004 and 2008 due to the Olympics. There was no game in 2010, too, because of the FIBA world Championship.
Side note: Moore, Parker and Adams are the only “first-timers” for the All-Star Game on the Western Conference’s Roster.
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