Atlanta Dream superstar Angel McCoughtry and rookie point guard Shoni Shimmel earned starting positions for the upcoming WNBA All-Star Game in Phoenix after being among the leading vote getters.
Shimmel, who has a vast fan and social media following which reflects her celebrated collegiate career and Native American background, tops all Eastern Conference guards and ranks third overall in the number of votes to the starting team with 25, 601.
Only league megastars Maya Moore (28,389) of the Minnesota Lynx and Elana Delle Donne (26,129) received more votes than Shimmel.
McCoughtry, who just celebrated her artsy nude pictorial in ESPN The Magazine’s “The Body” issue, is second among front court players in votes and is also a starter, the WNBA announced. She has led the league in scoring several times and was the driving force behind the Dream becoming the Eastern Conferency dynasty en route to three consecutive WNBA Finals appearances.
Schimmel got more votes than some of the biggest names in the women’s game, including Candace Parker, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Diana Taurasi, and she’ll start the All-Star game even though she’s started only two of 18 games for the Dream.
Schimmel entered Tuesday night’s game averaging 8.1 points and 3.9 assists.
McCoughtry received 17,562 votes, the second-most among East forwards, in getting her third All-Star nod. She entered Tuesday night as the league’s No. 4 scorer at 19.6 ppg.
The East starters are Schimmel and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) at the guards and Delle Donne, McCoughtry and Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) in the frontcourt. The West starters are Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Diggins (Tulsa Shock) in the backcourt and Moore, Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and Griner (Phoenix) in the frontcourt.
The WNBA said the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 will take place at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Saturday, July 19, and will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT).