NEW YORK -- Brittney Griner is thrilled to have a chance to play in her first WNBA All-Star game. The location makes it even more special.
"It means everything," Griner said. "Being here in Phoenix, playing in front of the home crowd, that’s awesome."
Griner was among the starters in the Western Conference when the league unveiled the lineups for the July 19 game on Tuesday night. She will play alongside Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi, Tulsa’s Skylar Diggins, Los Angeles’ Candace Parker, and Minnesota’s Maya Moore, who was the leading vote-getter.
"It’s great to be honored and appreciated by so many people across the world and to want to continue to have my game match that appreciation and play well," Moore said.
Griner missed the All-Star game last season while she recovered from a left knee injury. Now she gets a chance to make her All-Star game debut when the WNBA holds the event in Phoenix for the second time.
The Mercury’s 6-foot-8 star said she has something special planned for the game, but didn’t want to give it away just yet.
She hopes fellow second-year player Elena Delle Donne will be able to join her in Phoenix. Delle Donne, who was the leading vote-getter in the Eastern Conference, has been sidelined with a flare-up of Lyme Disease and has only played once for Chicago in the past 10 games.
Joining the Chicago star in the Eastern Conference starting lineup are New York’s Cappie Pondexter, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, and Atlanta’s Shoni Schimmel and Angel McCoughtry.
The All-Star reserves will be announced next Tuesday.