Up to this point, the lone women’s basketball presence we have heard about surrounding NBA All-Star in Chicago was the Ruffles Celebrity Game where the Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson and Los Angeles Sparks’ Chelsea Gray will take part for Team Stephen A (Smith) and Team (Wilbon) respectively.
As it turns out, women’s basketball’s imprint on NBA All-Star weekend will actually be more robust – thanks to the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo – will be much more robust.
USA Basketball announced that 15 athletes will be part of a three-day minicamp in the Windy City along with being part of activities throughout All-Star weekend from Feb. 14-16. One of those activities will be an open practice at Wintrust Arena – the home court of the Chicago Sky – on Feb. 15.
The 15 are – Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Jordin Canada (Seattle Storm), Layshia Clarendon (Connecticut Sun), Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings), Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky), Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx), Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks), Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces), Katie Lou Samuelson (Chicago Sky), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces) and Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics).
After the practice at Wintrust Arena, the team will attend All-Star Saturday Night at United Center. Cheryl Reeve and Dan Hughes will be co-coaches for the camp with Dawn Staley (South Carolina) and Jennifer Rizzotti (George Washington) unable to attend.