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Sue Bird, Sabrina Ionescu, A'ja Wilson Headline 2022 WNBA All-Star Game Starters

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 22, 2022

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The WNBA announced the 10 starters for the 2022 All-Star Game in Chicago.

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird and Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson will co-captain one team, with Storm forward Breanna Stewart and Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles on the other side.

Here's the full list of starters:

  • Sue Bird, Seattle Storm 
  • Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx 
  • Candace Parker, Chicago Sky 
  • Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks 
  • Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm 
  • A'ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces 
  • Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun 
  • Sabrina Ionescu, New York Liberty 
  • Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas Aces 
  • Jackie Young, Las Vegas Aces
WNBA @WNBA

Your <a href="https://twitter.com/ATT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ATT</a> WNBA All-Star 2022 Starters and Co-Captains 🤩 <a href="https://t.co/kQy5BeJg3Z">pic.twitter.com/kQy5BeJg3Z</a>

Along with honoring Bird and Fowles, the WNBA will recognize Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner as an honorary All-Star starter. Griner remains wrongfully detained in Russia, with her time in custody extending to 125 days as of Wednesday.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert discussed Griner's inclusion:

"During each season of Brittney’s career in which there has been an All-Star Game, she has been selected as an All-Star. It is not difficult to imagine that if BG were here with us this season, she would once again be selected and would, no doubt, show off her incredible talents. So, it is only fitting that she be named as an honorary starter today and we continue to work on her safe return to the U.S."

As expected, the Aces are well represented. Las Vegas owns the WNBA's best record (13-3), sits second in net rating (10.1), per WNBA.com, and boasts at least two players who will likely finish near the top of the MVP balloting.

Wilson is arguably the MVP frontrunner. She's averaging 18.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, and she has expanded her offensive repertoire a bit. The 2020 MVP has knocked down 11 three-pointers after hitting just one across her first four seasons.

Jackie Young is a strong candidate in her own right, and Kelsey Plum might have a genuine shot at collecting the award if she didn't have so much competition from her teammates.

Young has emerged as a dynamic two-way player. The 2019 No. 1 overall pick is averaging 18.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals. Plum, meanwhile, is second in the league in scoring (20.2 points) and boasts a 58.3 percent true shooting rate, per Basketball Reference.

Purely on merit, Bird is the only questionable inclusion, but she was bound to be an All-Star starter in her final season. Many expected this would be it for the future Hall of Famer, and she confirmed on June 16 she's walking away at the end of the campaign.

The same goes for Fowles, who will eventually find herself among the game's greats in the Hall of Fame as well.

The 36-year-old, who announced her upcoming retirement in February, was averaging a double-double (16.5 points, 10.3 rebounds) and shooting 64.1 percent before suffering a knee injury that sidelined her indefinitely.

With the starters revealed, the coaches will now vote on the 12 reserves. The full All-Star draft pool will be unveiled on June 28, with the All-Star Game draft to come on July 2. The game itself is set for July 10 in Chicago.

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