Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WNBA Report: All-Stars Reserves Named By Coaches Don't Include Diggins

By Mel Greenberg

It may have been "Three to See" but it will only be Two for the Show this weekend at the WNBA's annual All-Star game at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

With the reserves announced Tuesday night to fill out the 11-member squads from each conference, former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins, picked third overall in last April's draft, was not named a substitute.

Meanwhile the other two collegiate stars showcased since last fall who went first and second are in the starting fives, a first for the summer classic.

Delaware sensation Elena Delle Donne, taken second by the Chicago Sky, was the top overall votegetter, a first for a rookie, while former Baylor standout Brittney Griner, who was picked first by the Phoenix Mercury, will start for the West.

The WNBA keeps getting younger among its starpower with seven first-time participants overall following Tuesday night's announcement in terms of reserves and nine overall counting Griner and Delle Donne.

Conference coaches voted the additional players to round out the 11-member contingents, though none were allowed to vote for their own players.

Last week the WNBA announced the fan vote for the five starters resulting in the distinctions for Delle Donne and Griner.

Among the reserves on the East, three others with area identities are on the squad with former Rutgers stars Epiphanny Prince of Chicago and Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty named as starters and the Washington Mystics' Crystal Langhorne of Willingboro, NJ. picked as a reserve.

Times have changed with the Seattle Storm, the 2010 WNBA champs being shutout, in part because perennial picks Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird are sidelined for the season recovering from surgeries.

Additionally, in the East the Liberty is only represented by Pondexter, while starter Angel McCoughtry is the only member of the Atlanta Dream.

Chicago, which is at the top of the East for the first time this late in the season, had Olympic center Sylvia Fowles join Delle Donne and Prince to have the most players on the East All-Stars.

Connecticut, which won the regular season East last year but has been mired in the basement with injuries, saw first-time All-Star player Allison Hightower named as a reserve along with reigning MVP Tina Charles.

Defending champion Indiana has perennial starter Tamika Catchings while former Pittsburgh star Shavonte Zellous was named as a reserve for her first appearance.

Washington newcomer Ivory Latta, who came in a trade with the Tulsa Shock, was named a reserve for her first apppearance joining Langhorne, a past participant.

In the West, the powerful and first-place Minnesota Lynx has the most reps in the league with four members on the squad -- Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus are starters while Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen were named as reserves.

Griner is joined by perennial selectee Diana Taurasi of the Mercury, who had also been named a starter to account for Phoenix's two representatives

Former Stanford star Nneka Ogwumike, the nuumber overall pick a year ago, was named as a reserve from the Los Angeles Sparks, joining first time Sparks selectee Kristi Toliver, named as a reserve, and starter Candace Parker, the former Tennessee sensation who was the number one overall pick in 2008.

The Tulsa Shock have former Tennessee player Glory Johnson, a rookie a year ago, named to the squad.

San Antonio missing Sophia Young and Becky Hammon with injuries, had Danielle Robinson, another first-time participant, named a reserve from the Silver Stars to round out the squads.

Eight of the 22 players competed in the former Big East.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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