Whalen, Brunson named All-Stars 24 Jul 13

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The WNBA tonight announced Lynx players Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen were voted by coaches as reserves for the 2013 Western Conference All-Star team. Brunson (2007, 2011) and Whalen (2006, 2011) will each be making their third career All-Star appearance, joining Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore, who were named All-Star starters last Thursday. The Lynx quartet will be coached in this year’s game by head coach Cheryl Reeve, who is joined on the bench by assistants Shelley Patterson and Jim Petersen.

This year marks the second time in franchise history the Lynx have had four representatives at the All-Star Game (2011) and just the sixth time in WNBA history (New York, 1999; Detroit, 2005; Connecticut, 2006; Houston, 2006) a team has had four or more All-Stars. The Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game will be nationally broadcast on ABC this Saturday, July 27 at 2:30 p.m. CT from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Playing in her fourth season in Minnesota and 10th in the WNBA, Brunson recently became the all-time leading rebounder in franchise history, already grabbing 1,035 rebounds in a Lynx uniform. This season Brunson is averaging 10.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game (fourth in WNBA), shooting 48.7% from the field. She’s posted seven double-doubles, including five in her last nine games. Her best game this season came at Washington on June 8 with 21 points and 17 rebounds, her seventh career 20/10 effort. Entering Wednesday’s game against Phoenix, Brunson has posted a club-record 36 double-doubles in a Lynx uniform and 62 in her career.

Whalen is having arguably the best season in her 10-year career, averaging a career-best 16.1 points per game while handing out 5.3 assists (fourth in WNBA). She’s been especially hot of late, averaging 19.6 points and 5.7 assists per game over her last nine, including leading the Lynx in scoring in five or the past eight games. Whalen tallied 20+ points in four straight games between July 9 and 19, including becoming the first player in WNBA history with multiple 25+ point/10+ assist games against Tulsa on July 13 with a 25-point, 11-assist performance.

Joining Brunson and Whalen as Western Conference reserves are Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver, San Antonio’s Danielle Robinson and Tulsa’s Glory Johnson. Eastern Conference reserves include Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles, Connecticut’s Tina Charles and Alison Hightower, Indiana’s Shavonte Zellous and Washington’s Crystal Langhorne and Ivory Latta. All-Star reserves were selected by the league’s 12 head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team and selected reserves by voting for six players – two guards, three posts and one player regardless of position – within their own conference.

Alongside Augustus and Moore, starters for the Western Conference include Los Angeles’ Candace Parker, and Phoenix’s Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. The Eastern Conference starters are Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne and Epiphanny Prince, New York’s Cappie Pondexter, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings and Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry.

Replacement players, who will take the roster spot of players who cannot play due to injury, will be named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie on July 24.  Any changes to the starting lineup necessitated by injury would subsequently be made by the head coach of the respective team.

Sunday’s win over Phoenix wrapped up the first undefeated road trip of 3+ games for the Lynx, who improved to a WNBA-best 13-3 this season. Heading into Wednesday’s rematch with Phoenix, Minnesota is riding a season-long, six-game winning streak, including a franchise-record 15 consecutive wins at Target Center.