After not having an All-Star game last season due to a shortened schedule and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 WNBA All-Star game will be back in action on July 14 at 7 p.m. ET.
Unlike previous seasons — where the best players from the Eastern and Western conferences faced off against each other — this year it will be the WNBA All-Stars taking on Team USA as they prepare to play in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. This season in the W has been special as the superstar players have performed at a high level, while some veterans and rookies are making their mark.
Voting for the All-Star Game is underway and will wrap up on June 27 at 11:59 p.m. ET. But before the final votes are tallied, we are going to look at some of the players on the ballot, who could be due to make their first-ever appearance.
1. Betnijah Laney, G, New York Liberty — Last season’s Most Improved Player has played like an MVP candidate this season for the Liberty. Laney leads New York in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game and ranked fifth in the W. The former Rutgers standout is shooting 50.5% from the field (career-high) and 34% from three-point range.
2. Arike Ogunbowale, G, Dallas Wings — Ogunbowale is one of the best scorers in the WNBA and is one of the reasons why the Wings are fighting for a playoff spot. The former Notre Dame star is averaging 20.3 points per game, which is good for 4th in the WNBA behind the likes of Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, and Tina Charles. She is must-see TV and deserves to be under the bright lights of the All-Star Game.
3. Courtney Williams, G, Atlanta Dream — Williams is a certified shotmaker and bucket getter for the Atlanta Dream this season. The veteran guard has been in the WNBA since 2016 but has not yet played in the All-Star Game. This year is her year as she has brought another offensive spark to the Dream averaging a career-high 16.9 points, to go along with 7.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.
4. Teaira McCowan, C, Indiana Fever— We have to some show some love to the frontcourt players starting with McCowan. Despite the Fever being the worst team in the WNBA this season, the young center has been their best player by far. McCowan is almost averaging a double-double consisting of 11.1 points (5th among centers) and 8.9 rebounds per game.
5. Sabrina Ionescu, G, New York Liberty — The former first overall pick has not missed a beat after missing most of her rookie season in 2020. Ionescu is recording 11.6 points, 6.3 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game. Her rebounds and assists numbers are career-highs and rank her third among guards.
6. Marina Mabrey, G, Dallas Wings — Mabrey has played a large role in the Wings’ success this season and could play herself into the Most Improved Player convo. The second-year guard is averaging a career-high across the board with 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. Her 15.4 points per game ranks her third among players drafted in the second round.
Other players who deserve consideration are Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream), Satou Sabally (Dallas Wings) Michaela Onyenwere (New York Liberty), Kahleah Cooper (Chicago Sky), Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces), and Amanda Zahui B (Los Angeles Sparks).