NEW YORK — Brittney Griner will be starting in the WNBA All-Star Game a year after she was an honorary choice by the league while she was being detained in Russia.
The Phoenix Mercury’s center was chosen by fans, media and players Sunday for her ninth All-Star game. Last season all the players wore Griner No. 42 jerseys for the second half of the game that was played in Chicago.
A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart were the top voter getters among fans and will be the captains of the two teams when the game is played in Las Vegas on July 15. The two players were also captains last year and are each making their fifth All-Star appearances. Wilson’s team won the game last year.
Other frontcourt players chosen to start include rookie Aliyah Boston of the Indiana Fever. She would be the first rookie to start an All-Star game since Shoni Schimmel did it in 2014. Overall eight rookies have been chosen to start the All-Star Game.
Satou Sabally of Dallas and Elena Delle Donne of Washington round out the frontcourt starters.
The backcourt starters are Las Vegas teammates Chelsea Gray and Jackie Young, Seattle’s Jewell Loyd and Dallas’ Arike Ogunbowale.
The reserves will be chosen by the league’s head coaches, who will choose three guards, five frontcourt players and four at either position. Coaches can’t vote for their own players. The reserves will be announced on July 1.
Stewart and Wilson will draft their rosters on July 8.
Fan balloting accounts for 50% of the vote to determine starters for the game. WNBA players and a media panel account for 25% each. Player’s scores were calculated by averaging their weighted rank from the three groups.
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