NEW YORK (AP) — There will be a lot of fresh faces in Seattle for the All-Star Game this weekend, including reigning rookie of the year Breanna Stewart.
The Storm’s leading scorer was one of six reserves announced on Tuesday night who will be playing in their first All-Star contest.
She’s joined on the West team by Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike and Chelsea Gray, Dallas’ Skylar Diggins-Smith, Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus and Phoenix’s Brittney Griner.
Griner, the league’s leading scorer, won’t play though after injuring her ankle and knee last week. WNBA President Lisa Borders will announce a replacement for Griner on Wednesday.
Stewart and Gray will be playing in the game for the first time. Gray grew up in Manteca and graduated from Brock Elliot School before she prepped at St. Mary’s of Stockton. The 2010 McDonald’s High School American played collegiately for Duke and was drafted by the Connecticut Sun with the 11th overall selection. She’s currently averaging 15.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the reigning WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks.
The East has four reserves competing in their first All-Star contest. Atlanta teammates Layshia Clarendon and Elizabeth Williams will be making their first appearances. So will Chicago’s Allie Quigley and Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas. They are joined by Chicago’s Stefanie Dolson and Indiana’s Candice Dupree to round out the East reserves.
With starters Tiffany Hayes, Jonquel Jones and Jasmine Thomas all playing in their first All-Star Games, the East has seven first-timers.
Dupree and starter Tina Charles are the only two players on the East team who have been selected more than twice since Elena Delle Donne is out with an injury She too will be replaced by Borders on Wednesday.
“It’s great to see so many new faces and we’ll have a good time out there,” Charles said of all the All-Star rookies.
DuPree is the third player to make the All-Star Game with three different teams, doing it with Chicago, Phoenix and now Indiana. She joins Cappie Pondexter and Tina Thompson.
While Charles is the lone representative from New York, for now, Atlanta and Connecticut each have three players competing.
“I’m so, so excited to be part of the All-Star team this year,” Williams said. “It’s even more exciting that I get to share this time with two of my teammates, Tip (Tiffany Hayes) and Lay (Layshia Clarendon). Seattle is an awesome basketball city so I’m looking forward to a great weekend.”