NEW YORK (AP) — For the second straight All-Star game, the Minnesota Lynx will be well represented.
Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson joined starters Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus on Tuesday to give the Lynx four players on the Western Conference All-Star team.
“Yeah, there’s going to be a takeover of the league I think by the Minnesota Lynx,” said Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve, who will guide the West team. “Obviously, we’re happy with what our players have done, and we’re being well represented. We’ll have four players, three coaches, a trainer, so it’s going to feel a lot like a Minnesota Lynx road game for us.”
The Lynx also had four players on the 2011 team. Connecticut had four starters in the 2006 game.
“Last time we went out there, I think it was the same four,” Brunson said. “So we had a great time then and we’re just going to try to have a good time this time.”
Joining the Lynx players on the West team are reserves Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike from Los Angeles, Danielle Robinson from San Antonio and Tulsa’s Glory Johnson — all of whom are appearing in their first All-Star game.
“I’m excited, I was surprised when they called me,” Ogwumike said. “I try my best to work hard every day for my teammates and to also be there with my teammates is amazing. I’m looking forward to that, too. I think it is going to be a good experience. I have never experienced any type of All-Star game before.”
Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker were announced as starters last week for the West.
In total, there are nine first-time All-Stars on the team.
“I’m thankful that I’ve been given this opportunity,” said Johnson, who is averaging 16.4 points and 10.2 rebounds this season. “I’ve been blessed enough to stay healthy and prove that all of the hard work put in during the offseason paid off.”
The Eastern Conference reserves include Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles, Connecticut teammates Tina Charles and Allison Hightower, Washington’s Ivory Latta and Crystal Langhorne, and Indiana’s Shavonte Zellous.
“It means a lot to me,” said Zellous. “This has been a goal of mine, just like winning a championship was. In my fifth year in the league, now I’m an All-Star. In my fourth year, I was a WNBA champion. That’s a good accomplishment in my eyes. I just hope to have fun and enjoy the moment, seeing all the players and everything that involves the all-star experience.”
Charles, the reigning MVP, has scored at least 20 points six times and has 10 double-doubles in 15 games this season.
Latta and Langhorne have helped Washington (8-9) to its best season in a while. Latta is averaging a career-best 14.4 points and 3.9 assists.
New York’s Cappie Pondexter, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings and Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry join Elena Delle Donne and Epiphanny Prince as starters for the East.
The game will be played Saturday in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun.
Seattle is the only team in the league without an All-Star. The Storm are missing their two perennial All-Stars, as Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson are out for the season with injuries.
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