Clark, Reese headline Team WNBA All-Star squad

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Rookie sensations Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever and Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky headline the 12-player Team WNBA that will face the U.S. women’s national team in Phoenix on July 20 in the 2024 WNBA All-Star Game, the league announced Tuesday night.

Clark and Reese, the respective No. 1 and No. 7 picks in the 2024 draft, are the only first-time All-Stars of the group.

Dating to their playing days at Iowa and LSU, respectively, the dynamic pair and their on-court rivalry have helped propel women’s basketball to a new era of growth. Their three meetings across the first two months of the WNBA season were decided by a combined 10 points, and the soon-to-be All-Star teammates are the clear front-runners in the Rookie of the Year race, with Clark taking home Rookie of the Month for May and Reese earning the honor for June.

Reese got emotional after being informed she made the All-Star team, speaking to reporters through tears after helping Chicago beat Atlanta on Tuesday night.

“I’m just so happy. I know the work I put in,” said Reese, who had 12 points and 19 rebounds in the win. “Coming into this league, so many people doubted me and didn’t think my game would translate and I wouldn’t be the player that I was in college or better or would be worse and wouldn’t be where I am right now.

“But I trusted the process and I believed and I’m thankful that I dropped to [pick No. 7] and was able to come to Chicago. And like, it’s just a blessing. I can’t thank my teammates and my coaches enough for just believing in me and trusting me. I know all of them are going to come to Phoenix and support me. So I’m really happy right now.”

The Team WNBA roster is also highlighted by nine-time All-Star Nneka Ogwumike and six-time All-Star DeWanna Bonner. Aliyah Boston and Kelsey Mitchell give Indiana — which has seen an explosion of interest with Clark in tow — the most selections of any team with three.

The group is rounded out by the Connecticut Sun’s Brionna Jones, Atlanta Dream’s Allisha Gray, Los Angeles Sparks’ Dearica Hamby, New York Liberty’s Jonquel Jones, Minnesota Lynx’s Kayla McBride and Dallas Wings’ Arike Ogunbowale.

The top 10 All-Star vote-getters — determined by 50% fan voting, 25% current player voting and 25% media voting — were automatically named to the All-Star Game, with those who weren’t previously named to the Olympic 5-on-5 team assigned to Team WNBA.

Those 10 players were, in alphabetical order: Boston, Clark, Napheesa Collier, Kahleah Copper, Hamby, Sabrina Ionescu, Ogunbowale, Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young. Clark and Boston received the most fan votes, followed by Wilson, Stewart and Reese.

With Collier, Copper, Ionescu, Stewart, Wilson and Young on Team USA, Boston, Clark, Hamby and Ogunbowale were automatically named to Team WNBA.

The league’s coaches then filled out the rest of the Team WNBA roster picking from a list of the next 36 highest vote-getters, ultimately selecting Bonner, Gray, Brionna Jones, Jonquel Jones, McBride, Mitchell, Ogwumike and Reese. The U.S. national team — which will go for an eighth consecutive Olympic gold in Paris starting later this month — also features Diana Taurasi, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum and Alyssa Thomas.

Starters for both teams will be determined by their respective head coaches.

A group of WNBA All-Stars previously played the U.S. Olympic team in an All-Star Game in 2021, which was won by Team WNBA and led by MVP Ogunbowale.

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