US Olympic Team Expects Competitive Game Vs WNBA All-Stars

Jul 14, 2021, 10:33 AM | Updated: 10:38 am


A logo of the 25th anniversary of the WNBA is displayed on the court between the Indiana Fever and the New York Liberty at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 16, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

AP – Both the U.S. Olympic team and the WNBA All-Stars expect a competitive game in the league’s showcase Wednesday.

Usually there is not much defense played in All-Star games until the fourth quarter, but this one could be different with the Olympians having limited time to get ready for the Tokyo Games.

“It’s not so much an All-Star game for us, but a preparation game for the Olympics,” said Breanna Stewart. “It will be a lot more competitive because we’re actually going to play … before it’s a been a little bit of a mess.”

The past seven WNBA All-Star games have been decided by single digits, including the one in 2019 that was a three-point contest.

It’s the first time since 2000 the WNBA has held the All-Star game during an Olympic year.

“It’s a great way for the USA team to get ready,” said five-time Olympian and 12-time All-Star Sue Bird. “Great way to prepare for us. great way to showcase the top talent. The national team is 12 of the top players and so is the WNBA side of it. Twenty-four of the top players going out there, … All in all we’re trying to put on a good show.”

Diana Taurasi, who will also be playing in her fifth Olympics, said she most likely won’t play in the game as she’s recovering from a hip pointer. She missed the Mercury’s last three games because of it.

“My goal is to be ready for the Olympics,” Taurasi said. “Preparation is key. So at this point in my career, I think being ready for Tokyo is what’s best for our team and me. So I’m taking it day by day. I’m getting better, and I’ll be fine once the real games start.”


There will be eight first-time All-Stars in the game while Sue Bird will be playing in a WNBA-record 12th. … The Las Vegas Aces have the most All-Star selections with four players (Liz Cambage, A’ja Wilson, Dearica Hamby and Chelsea Gray).


With so many WNBA teammates on different teams in the game Wednesday there has been some playful banter back and forth between them.

Dearica Hamby said she wanted to get a steal off Chelsea Gray. Gray’s former teammate Candace Parker said she wanted to back down the point guard in the post.

The best trash-talking was between Dallas Wings forward Satou Sabally and her teammate Arike Ogunbowale, who asked whether she’d dunk on Brittney Griner in the game. Sabally answered “yep.” Griner laughed it off when she heard the comments later when speaking wit the media. The 6-foot-8 Mercury star was reminded by teammate Skylar Diggins that she’s been there and done that, having dunked in Dallas earlier this year.


Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley will try for her third 3-point shootout title at halftime of Wednesday night’s All-Star game. She won the event in 2017 and 2018. Other competitors in the field: Jewell Loyd (Seattle), Sami Whitcomb (New York) and Jonquel Jones (Connecticut).

“It’s the Allie Quigley Invitational,” Parker said laughing.

The event will feature five racks of balls with one spot being worth two points for each shot made. There also is a new gimmick this year with two shots from way behind the arc worth three points each if they are made.


The WNBA will honor the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that started off the run of six consecutive gold medals that the Americans have won. Lisa Leslie, who helped win the first four golds, will co-coach the WNBA team with Tina Thompson. Dawn Staley who was on the 1996 team with Leslie, is the U.S. Olympic coach.


Las Vegas Aces...

DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer

WNBA Champion Aces Built For Three-Peat With Finals MVP A’ja Wilson, Core Group Returning

A'ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces are poised for a possible three-peat and continue one of the greatest runs in league history.

4 months ago

Las Vegas Aces WNBA Champs 2023...

DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer

Las Vegas Aces Become First Repeat WNBA Champions In 21 Years

The Las Vegas Aces became the first team to repeat as champions in 21 years as they beat the New York Liberty in the 2023 WNBA Finals.

4 months ago


Doug Feinberg, AP

Jones, Stewart Help Liberty Avoid Sweep, Take Game 3 Of WNBA Finals

Jonquel Jones helped the New York Liberty beat the Las Vegas Aces 87-73 on Sunday in the WNBA Finals and force a Game 4.

5 months ago


W.G. Ramirez, AP

Las Vegas Aces Rout New York Liberty, Take 2-0 Series Lead In WNBA Finals

A’ja Wilson scored 26 points and the Aces routed the New York Liberty to take a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-five series.

5 months ago


Mark Anderson, AP

Las Vegas Aces Dominate New York Liberty In WNBA Finals Opener

The Las Vegas Aces pulled away from the New York Liberty in the second half to win 99-82 on Sunday in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

5 months ago


Mark Anderson, AP

Highly Anticipated WNBA Finals Matchup Between Aces, Liberty Begins Sunday

The Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty are poised to tip off their highly anticipated WNBA Finals showdown.

5 months ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

US Olympic Team Expects Competitive Game Vs WNBA All-Stars