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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WNBA Report: Bird and Latta Picked as Injury Replacements Which Now Gives Each Team Representation at All-Stars

By Rob Knox @robknox1

Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm and Ivory Latta of the Washington Mystics were named by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie Wednesday as replacement players for Saturday’s Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT) from US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The addition of Bird and Latta to the two division rosters means every WNBA team will be represented at the annual mid-summer party.

Bird and Latta’s participation in the game will be a treat for fans as both players are pleasant packages of electricity and excitement.

Bird will join the Western Conference roster, filling the spot of Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus, who has missed the last six games due to bursitis in her left knee.

Augustus was picked as a reserve by the West coaches of the six franchises while Latta joins the Eastern Conference roster in place of frontcourt star and former University of Delaware standout Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky.

The all-time Blue Hens great, who has been sidelined for 12 of the Sky’s last 13 games due to the effects of Lyme disease, is missiing the event for the second time in her two seasons as a pro.

Delle Donne had been voted into the game as a starter by fans, receiving the most votes in the East and second overall to West starter Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx.

In 2013 in which she was named rookie of the year unanimously for leading Chicago to the East title and first playoff appearance eight attempts, Delle Donne was the top overall vote getter but missed the All-Stars when she suffered a concussion in a game in Washington just before the weekend's festivities at the home of the Connecticut Sun in Uncasville.

For the 33-year-old Bird, this marks her eighth All-Star appearance, having previously been voted as a starter seven times.

The two-time WNBA champion most recently participated in the 2011 All-Star event held in San Antonio, when the league officially unveiled and honored its Top 15 Players of All Time, of which Bird was a member.

Now in her 12th WNBA campaign, the former University of Connecticut standout ranks second in WNBA history in total assists (2,035) and assists per game (5.4).

Latta, who participated in her first Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star event last year as a reserve, currently leads the Mystics in scoring (11.1 ppg).

The former University of North Carolina star who is an assistant coach to Hall of Famer Sylvia Hatchell at her alma mater in the winter is also tied for second in the league in three-point field goals made this season (45).

Latta has scored in double figures 15 times this season, including in seven of her last eight games. She dropped a season-high 25 points in the Mystics’ season opener against Minnesota.

Eastern Conference Head Coach Michael Cooper will select a player to start in place of Delle Donne.

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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