The Storm’s Breanna Stewart in action against the Sun in a game July 12, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Storm’s Stewart named reserve for WNBA All-Star game in Seattle

By Doug Feinberg

Associated Press

NEW YORK — 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.

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.”

Bird in 3-point contest

NEW YORK — Sugar Rodgers is heading to the WNBA All-Star Game to compete in the 3-point contest.

The Liberty shooting guard is happy for the chance to compete against Seattle’s Sue Bird, Connecticut’s Jasmine Thomas, Chicago’s Allie Quigley and Minnesota’s Maya Moore on Saturday in Seattle.

“If I win, I win, if I don’t, I’m still a good shooter,” Rodgers said. “We’ll go out there and have fun.”

There’s no doubt who the fans will be pulling for in the contest involving Bird, a 10-time All-Star playing in front of her home crowd.

“The fans associate a 3-point contest with a weekend like this. Players and fans have fun with it,” Bird said. “I’m excited to be a part of it.”

The league is bringing back the contest for the first time since 2009, and the winner will get $10,000 donated to a charity of her choice.

Rodgers already knows who she would give the money to.

“I’m donating my money to Hopey’s Heart Foundation,” she said of New York teammate Tina Charles’ charity. “It’s great, she’s like a big sister to me, so why not give it to her.”

Thomas is third in the league from behind the arc, hitting 45.8 percent of her 3s this season. Quigley is fifth, Bird eighth and Moore 10th. Rodgers is 18th.

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