WNBA All-Star Weekend Showcases the League’s Biggest Names

Brittney Griner #15, Breanna Stewart #10 and A’ja Wilson #9 of the USA Women’s National Team stand on the court during a break in the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game at Michelob ULTRA Arena on July 14, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Brittney Griner #15, Breanna Stewart #10 and A’ja Wilson #9 of the USA Women’s National Team stand on the court during a break in the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game at Michelob ULTRA Arena on July 14, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

It’s a big weekend for WNBA fans. The best players in the league are all headed to Chicago for AT&T WNBA All-Star 2022.

The action kicks off Saturday, July 9 with the WNBA All-Star 3-Point Contest. Three-time defending champion Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky will go for four straight against the Atlanta Dream’s Rhyne Howard, the Dallas Wings’ Arike Ogunbowale, the Las Vegas Aces’ Kelsey Plum, the Seattle Storm’s Jewell Loyd and the Washington Mystics’ Ariel Atkins. Honestly, these are the best shooters in the league. No, really. If the game is close, do not leave any of them open.

Per ESPN, after last year’s contest in Las Vegas, Quigley said she was done. But with this year’s the game in Chicago, she couldn’t resist showing out in front of the hometown crowd. In addition to the Chicago Sky, Quigley is from Illinois and played college ball at DePaul University.

“I’m so excited to be a part of the All-Star weekend in my hometown,” Quigley said. “After winning the event last year I really thought it would be my final time taking part. But the opportunity to compete one more time and to do so in Chicago was too good to pass up.”

This should be a really fun contest since the league is finally splitting All-Star weekend into two days. In the past, the players have had to rush to fit the competition into halftime of the game. With plenty of time for a real contest, I’m expecting a show. All-Star team co-captain A’Ja Wilson will also be mic’d up for ESPN during the competition, and you know she’ll have some thoughts on her opponents and teammates.

The WNBA Skills Competition and MTN Dew 3-Point Contest airs Saturday, July 9 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on ESPN.

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After what I assume will be a very competitive Saturday, the celebration continues on Sunday with the 2022 WNBA All-Star game.

Team Stewart, led by co-captains Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm, matches up with Team Wilson, co-captained by the Las Vegas Aces’ Wilson and Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx. Bird and Fowles have announced their respective retirements and are participating in their last All-Star games. Fowles and Stewart were originally paired up, but the Seattle superstar orchestrated a trade with Wilson, so she could partner with her legendary teammate.

In addition to the Seattle duo, Team Stewart’s starters include reigning MVP Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun, the Las Vegas Aces’ Jackie Young and the Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike. They will be coached by the Chicago Sky’s James Wade.

Here are Team Stewart’s reserves: Loyd, Ogunbowale, the Chicago Sky’s Kahleah Copper, the Phoenix Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith, the Chicago Sky’s Emma Meesseman, and Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun.

Meanwhile, A’ja and Syl will be joined on Team Wilson’s starting lineup by Plum, the New York Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu, and hometown hero Candace Parker of the Chicago Sky. The Las Vegas Aces’ Becky Hammon returns to the All-Star game to coach Team Wilson.

Here are Team Wilson’s reserves: Atkins, Rhyne Howard, the Las Vegas Ace’s Dearica Hamby, the New York Liberty’s Natasha Howard, the Connecticut Sun’s Brionna Jones and Courtney Vandersloot of the Chicago Sky.

There will also be a special story on honorary All-Star Brittney Griner. The Phoenix Mercury center has been wrongfully detained in Russia since Feb. 17. She was stopped by police at a Moscow airport, where police say they found vape cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage. On Thursday, she pleaded guilty to attempted drug smuggling charges, which could lead to 10 years in prison.

The 2022 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game airs Sunday, July 10 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on ABC.

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