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Wilson and Stewart Set to Face Off Again in 2023 WNBA All-Star Game

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

The 2023 WNBA All-Star weekend is set to take place on July 14-15 in Las Vegas. On Friday the 14th, the WNBA will host a Three-Point Contest (won last year by Allie Quigley) and a Skills Challenge (won by Sabrina Ionescu and Zoe Brooks last year). In addition to these events, the All-Star game will take place on the 15th at 8:30 pm EST. All-Star starters are voted in by fans, media, and the players themselves. Fan voting counts for 50 percent of the votes, and the player and media votes each count 25 percent. On June 25, the top ten rated WNBA players were announced as starters for the game. On July 1, the WNBA announced who would play in the game as reserves.

For the second year in a row, the top 2 players voted as team captains are Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson (4x All-Star) and New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart (4x All-Star). Wilson was named Western Conference Player of the Month for June. Her success during the past two months helped the Aces land the best record in the league (16-1). Stewart is in the top five of all WNBA players for the average number of points per game, rebounds, and blocks, helping the Liberty to a 12-4 record which is the best in the East. As captains, Wilson and Stewart got to draft the players on their team.

Courtesy of Bally Sports

Since Wilson had the most votes, she got the first draft pick. Here’s a rundown of Wilson’s team:

Chelsea Gray 4x All Star Las Vegas Aces

Jackie Young 1x All Star Las Vegas Aces

Aliyah Boston No previous All Star game Indiana Fever

Arike Ogunbowale 2x All-Star Dallas Wings

Kelsey Plum 2x All-Star Las Vegas Aces

Allisha Gray No previous All-Star game Atlanta Dream

Alyssa Thomas 3x All-Star Connecticut Sun

Cheyenne Parker No previous All-Star game Atlanta Dream

DeWanna Bonner 4x All-Star Phoenix Sun

Elena Delle Donne 6x All-Star Washington Mystics

*starters in bold

Wilson is hoping to repeat last year’s results, when her team beat Stewart’s 134-112. To do this, Wilson drafted Gray, Young, Boston, and Ogunbowale. Wilson drafted Aces teammates Gray and Young, adding to the strength of the team since they already know each other’s playing style. Gray is in the top five in the league for average number of assists, with 6.4. Young is the second highest Aces scorer averaging 19.2 points. Boston is only the fourth rookie to start an All-Star game and is the first since Shoni Schimmel in 2014. Rounding out Wilson’s starters is Ogunbowale who is averaging 21.8 points a game, which is the third highest in the league.

On Sunday July 9, Elena Delle Donne sprained her ankle in a game against the Connecticut Sun. She had to leave the game early, and is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks. In her place, the WNBA has chosen to send Rhyne Howard from the Atlanta Dream, giving Howard the opportunity to play in her second All-Star game.

Courtesy of Bally Sports

Here’s a look at Stewart’s roster:

Team Stewart:

Brittney Griner 8x All-Star Phoenix Mercury

Jewell Loyd 4x All-Star Seattle Storm

Satou Sabally 1x All-Star Dallas Wings

Nneka Ogwumike 7x All-Star LA Sparks

Courtney Vandersloot 4x Al-Star New York Liberty

Sabrina Ionescu 1x All-Star New York Liberty

Ezi Magbegor No previous All-Star game Seattle Storm

Napheesa Collier 2x All-Star Minnesota Lynx

Kelsey Mitchell No previous All-Star game Indiana Fever

Kahleah Copper 2x All-Star Chicago Sky

*starters in bold

Hoping to beat Wilson’s team this year, Stewart drafted starters Griner, Loyd, Sabally, and Ogwumike. Griner will bring lots of all-star experience to the 2023 WNBA All-Star game, and currently is in the top five in the league for average blocks. Loyd is leading the WNBA in average points per game with 24.9. Sabally will contribute on the defensive end as she is one of the best rebounders in the league, with an average of 9.3. With an average of 19.8 points, Ogwumike is expected to strengthen the offense.

With such strong players on both teams, this All-Star game is one not to miss.

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