WNBA All-Star Game returns to Las Vegas

The WNBA typically doesn’t host an All-Star Game during an Olympic year. After the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed to this year because of the pandemic, the commissioner said skipping the event consecutive years wasn’t an option.

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Diamond DeShields of Team Wilson is introduced before the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Diamond DeShields of Team Wilson is introduced before the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The WNBA All-Star Game will return to Las Vegas on July 14 at Michelob Ultra Arena and pit players from the U.S. women’s national team against WNBA players, all voted in by fans, players, media and coaches.

Earlier this month, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert spoke about the importance of having the 17th annual All-Star Game, even though the season includes an Olympic break.

The WNBA typically doesn’t host an All-Star Game during an Olympic year. After the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Engelbert said skipping the event consecutive years wasn’t an option.

“It’s important to our players,” she said. “It’s another opportunity for them to show their skills, especially with a lot of momentum coming into the Olympic break this year.”

Voting opens at 1 p.m. Tuesday and will close at 10:59 p.m. June 27. All current WNBA players will be eligible. Voting will be weighted, with fans accounting for 50% of the vote, current WNBA players 25% and a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters 25%.

Fans will be able to vote for up to 10 players: four backcourt and six frontcourt. They’ll be able to vote once a day, with the exception of two “2-for-1 days” — Sunday and June 27 — when their votes will count twice.

Names of the top 36 players with the most votes who are not members of the U.S. team will be provided to all 12 coaches in the league. From that list, they’ll determine which 12 players will represent the WNBA All-Stars. Coaches won’t be able to vote for their own players.

The national team’s final roster hasn’t been released yet, but Diamond DeShields, Kahleah Copper and Stefanie Dolson were all part of Dawn Staley’s training-camp roster in March.

The 2019 WNBA All-Star Game, which also was held in Las Vegas, featured three Sky players: DeShields, Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley.

Brown adds to backcourt depth

The Sky re-signed Lexie Brown on Monday for the rest of the season. Brown has had several stints with the Sky this season, including being signed the morning of June 1 and playing 20 minutes that night against the Mercury. She should strengthen the team’s backcourt depth.

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