Augustus, Whalen added as WNBA All-Stars

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 16, 2014 - 4:59 AM
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Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx is surrounded by teammates, from left, Rebekkah Brunson, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore after Augustus scored a basket and drew a foul during the WNBA Finals last fall.

The Minnesota Lynx’s traveling party to Phoenix just got a little bigger.

The WNBA announced Tuesday that guards Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen were among the reserves named to the Western Conference team for Saturday’s All-Star Game, which is being hosted by the Phoenix Mercury.

They join Maya Moore, who received the most All-Star votes and will be a starter for the West team that will be led by Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve and her staff.

“I’m always thankful to be named an All-Star,” said Augustus, who was named an All-Star for the sixth time.

“It’s a nice honor to be named an All-Star,” said Whalen, who’s on her fifth All-Star team. “It’s an opportunity to represent the Lynx, enjoy playing with my teammates and my coaching staff being there.”

Because she has missed the past six games with left knee bursitis — and will miss a seventh Wednesday — it is unlikely Augustus will play. If not, her replacement will be named by WNBA President Laurel Richie on Wednesday.

Augustus has averaged 17.2 points per game in 15 games, shooting a career-high 52.6 percent. Whalen has averaged a career-high 15.0 points per game. She is shooting 50.2 percent and is averaging 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Moore leads the league in scoring (23.7) and has had eight games with 30 or more points.

“I feel happy for all three of the All-Stars,” Reeve said. “It’s fun to share the experience with them.”

The other Western Conference reserves named Tuesday were guards Candice Dupree (Phoenix) and Danielle Robinson (San Antonio) and forwards Glory Johnson (Tulsa) and Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles).

Eastern reserves were guards Katie Douglas (Connecticut), Briann January (Indiana), forwards Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut) and Jessica Breland (Chicago) and centers Tina Charles (New York) and Erika de Souza (Atlanta).

Nearing full strength

The Lynx, it appears, will soon be fully healthy for the season’s stretch run.

Forward Rebekkah Brunson, out all season since right knee surgery May 13, took full part with the first team in noncontact offensive drills Tuesday. Brunson has yet to go against a defense in practice, but she said she is pain-free and that her knee feels better than it did last season.

“This has been a process,” she said. “This was the next step. I felt really good about it.”

Brunson will not play Wednesday. Reeve said the goal was to have both available for the first game after the All-Star break, July 22 vs. Atlanta.

Should both Brunson and Augustus return a week from now, the Lynx would be fully healthy for the first time all season with 11 games left to play.

“We’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff,” Brunson said. “We know this is the point when we can really get the pieces together and go on a run.”

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