UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Dan Hughes knows what suit he will wear Saturday for the WNBA All-Star Game when he coaches Team Delle Donne.
It's one his father, Harley Hughes, bought for him.
The elder Hughes died in the fall of 2009, a few months after his son coached his first All-Star Game in Connecticut.
"It still fits me and I thought it would be a fitting thing to wear," the Seattle Storm coach told The Associated Press. "When I was picking out suits for this long road trip, I said I'm going to take this one. I definitely will have a moment and smile out there."
Hughes got emotional talking about his father before the first-place Seattle Storm played Connecticut last week.
"He was the guy that told me that I should be in the WNBA. He read about it, and I had been a men's assistant forever. He knew I wanted to be a head coach. He said I should check this league out. He said that's what you want to be in."
Hughes laughed when he recalled that his dad's happiest moment came when he coached the 2009 game.
"To this day I don't get it," Hughes said. "That was the single moment he was the proudest. Maybe it was because all of the offense, he was an offensive type of guy."
The 63-year-old coach carries around a picture of his dad in his bag and always looks at it before games.
Here are a few other All-Star tidbits.
STARTING FIVE: The two captains, Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker, will announce the starters on an hour-long show Friday night on ESPN after discussing it with coaches Hughes and Sandy Brondello. While the starting lineup reveal will be televised, the team drafts weren't. The players union liked the idea of televising the draft, but said the players had reservations about how it would be executed.
"They did express concern that the league had reached out at a time that was pretty 'late in the game' to get this done, and to get it done right," WNBPA director of operations Terri Jackson said. "Nevertheless, the players responded quickly with suggestions like a special gift or special recognition for the last pick. We thought that was pretty innovative and might further drive media attention, fan engagement and maybe usher in new corporate sponsors."
The league said it tabled the idea, in conjunction with the union, and may television the draft in future years.
"I consulted with WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike before implementing changes to our All-Star Game format. Nneka conferred with her colleagues on the Union's Executive Committee who were excited about adding a fresh approach to the game, WNBA President Lisa Borders said. "That said, they also cautioned us to take an experiential approach, learning from this first year and implementing more elements in subsequent years. Based on this thoughtful feedback, I made the decision to introduce the top vote getters as captains this year and reserve additional exciting elements, such as 'live' player selections, for future All-Star games."
HONORING ANNE: Kristi Toliver didn't really know former WNBA coach Anne Donovan, who died last month. Yet she liked what the Hall of Famer stood for and will be playing for one of Donovan's favorite charities when she competes in the 3-point shootout on Saturday.
"Just what she was for our sport. I didn't really know her personally, but I did know the magnitude she had in this league and beyond and the phenomenal person she was," the Mystics guard said. "I actually have two homes in Wilmington, North Carolina, and that's where she's from and that's where the humane society is and hopefully we'll get $10,000 in her name."
The winner will have $10,000 donated to a charity of her choice by the WNBA in partnership with the WNBPA.
Other participants include defending champion Allie Quigley of Chicago, Atlanta's Renee Montgomery, Seattle's Jewell Loyd, Las Vegas' Kayla McBride and Indiana's Kelsey Mitchell.
The players have one minute to make as many of the 25 balls as possible. The two competitors with the highest scores in the first round advance to the championship round.