Delle Donne, Wilson lead early WNBA All-Star balloting

Kia Nurse

The WNBA announced the ten players who will be starters in this summer's WNBA All Star Game this afternoon, including captains A'ja Wilson and Elena Delle Donne, during a broadcast of ESPN's "The Jump" Thursday afternoon.

Wilson and Delle Donne will pick from a pool of the remaining eight starters and a dozen reserves.

- Jewell Loyd, Storm (2nd All-Star selection): The 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year and champion with Seattle last season is one of seven 2019 starters who participated in the All-Star Game last year, along with Cambage, Delle Donne, Gray, Griner, McBride and Wilson. There's a chance she'll be joined by Mystics teammates Natasha Cloud, Kristi Tolliver and Ariel Atkins, who all received fan votes.

The WNBA added festivities for the night before the All-Star Game with a 3-point shootout, skills competition and beach party. She was sidelined from Wednesday's game due to a nasal fracture she suffered in the Mystics' game against the Sparks on July 7.

The WNBA announced Las Vegas Aces head coach Bill Laimbeer and Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault would serve as head coaches for the game.

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The pair will draft the All-Star Game rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves.

Nurse will start at guard after being selected by a combination of fans, media and players. They are voted on by league coaches. She is also the youngest starter this season.

Among second-year players, Wilson leads the WNBA in scoring, rebounding, blocks and player impact estimate and is in the top 5 in net rating and assists.

What makes it even more special for Wilson is that the game will be played in Las Vegas. The winningest coach in WNBA history, Thibault is a three-time WNBA Coach of the Year, most recently in 2013 with Washington. As coach of the Connecticut Sun, Thibault's East team lost to the West 122-99 in the 2005 All-Star Game in Connecticut.

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