SPARK OF SPARKS: Reigning WNBA MVP Candace Park will start in the July 19 WNBA All Star Game in Phoenix. She is the lone bright spot on a team where things have not gone according to plan. Sparks Photo
Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker was named a Western Conference starter for the 2014 Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game.
The 2013 WNBA MVP and All-Star MVP will represent Los Angeles and the Western Conference in her second consecutive All-Star Game. The third selection of her career, she was voted in as a starter in 2011, but was unable to play due to injury. Joining Parker in the West frontcourt will be top vote getter Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), as well as 2013 WNBA No. 1 overall draft pick Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury. At the backcourt spots for the West will be seven-time All-Star and 2009 regular-season MVP Diana Taurasi of Phoenix and Skylar Diggins of the Tulsa Shock, the No. 3 overall selection in the heralded 2013 draft class. Diggins will be making her first All-Star appearance.
The Western Conference lineup will feature four No. 1 overall draft picks, including the top selections from 2004, 2008, 2011, and 2013 (Taurasi, Parker, Moore, and Griner, respectively). Representing the East in the frontcourt are Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne, Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings. The starting guards for the East will be Atlanta’s Shoni Schimmel and 2007 WNBA Finals MVP Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty. Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 will take place at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Saturday, July 19, and will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT). Following are the starting lineups for the 2014 Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game:
Eastern Conference Starters: Shoni Schimmel - Guard (Atlanta Dream), Cappie Pondexter - Guard (New York Liberty), Elena Delle Donne - Frontcourt (Chicago Sky), Angel McCoughtry - Frontcourt (Atlanta Dream), Tamika Catchings - Frontcourt (Indiana Fever)
Western Conference Starters: Diana Taurasi - Guard (Phoenix Mercury), Skylar Diggins - Guard (Tulsa Shock), Maya Moore - Frontcourt (Minnesota Lynx), Candace Parker - Frontcourt (Los Angeles Sparks), Brittney Griner - Frontcourt (Phoenix Mercury)
The 12 WNBA head coaches will select the reserves by voting for six players within their own conference, including two guards, three frontcourt players, and a player from either position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The league will announce the reserves during ESPN2’s national telecast of the Sparks and Fever on Tuesday, July 15 at 8 p.m. ET. Replacement players, who will take the roster spot of players who cannot play due to injury, will be named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. Any changes to the starting lineup necessitated by injury will be made by the head coach of the respective All-Star team. Under WNBA guidelines, the coach of the previous season's conference champion serves as the All-Star coach for that conference, provided that the coach remains in the same position. Since Fred Williams – head coach of the 2013 Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream – is now at the helm in Tulsa, the East head coach – Atlanta’s Michael Cooper – was selected based on the club with the best winning percentage through games on June 29. Cooper earned the honor after guiding his club to an 11-4 mark (.733) at that point in the season. Minnesota Head Coach Cheryl Reeve, who guided the Lynx to the 2013 WNBA title, will lead the West squad. The Sparks next home game is Thursday, July 17 vs. Washington Mystics at 7:30 p.m. Individual and group tickets are available now by calling 877-44-SPARKS (772757) or visiting LASparks.com.