Once again the WNBA All-Star Game will have a strong Minnesota contingent.
The 2017 event, July 22 in Seattle, will feature a Western Conference team with the Lynx’s Cheryl Reeve as coach and Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore as starters.
Not bad, eh?
Reeve and her staff get the nod because the Lynx were the top team in the West last season; New York’s Bill Laimbeer will coach the Eastern Conference team. Fowles and Moore are starting because they finished high in the new voting system that included votes from fans (50 percent), media (25 percent) and players (25 percent). Fan voting broke ties.
“It’s exciting,’’ said Fowles, who is in the top five in the league in scoring (20.1, third), shooting (66.3 percent, first), rebounding (10, second) and blocks (1.9, third). She was the top vote-getter among her peers and the media among Western Conference frontcourt players.
Moore, who has been voted a starter in every All-Star Game (five) since entering the league in 2011 (there were no All-Star Games in 2012 and 2016 because of the Summer Olympics) led all players in fan voting (32,866).
“The older I get the more I appreciate it,’’ said Moore, who is averaging 15.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists. “You realize how hard it is to continue to play at a high level, enough to where your peers and fans and the media are voting you in.’’
Seattle’s Sue Bird will make her 10th appearance, tying former Indiana great Tamika Catchings for most ever. In all, five of the 10 starters have won league MVP awards.
“Obviously, I’m proud of any of our players that get this sort of recognition,’’ Reeve said.
The next step is naming the reserves, a process Reeve will go through with the league’s other head coaches. Reserves will be named next Tuesday.
Lynx guard Seimone Augustus, who is having a strong year, finished third among guards in the West in voting, with Lindsay Whalen finishing sixth. Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson finished seventh among Western Conference frontcourt players.
Former Minneapolis South High School star Tayler Hill, with Washington, finished fourth among Eastern Conference guards.
Reeve said she hoped Augustus would be named one of the reserves.
Moore said she was interested in taking part in the three-point shooting contest, which has returned to the event and will be held at halftime.
“If it’s a competition involving shooting three-pointers, I’m there,’’ Moore said. “I would love to.’’