01/08/19

WNBA All Star Weekend

Words: Good Sport

Images: Maria Noble

This year the Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center and the Las Vegas Aces played host to the WNBA All-Star Weekend for the first time. Heading into the All-Star Game an injured A’ja Wilson – 2018 draft’s 1st overall pick, selected by the Aces – was replaced on the Team Wilson roster by Minnesota’s Napheesa Collier, with the other team being lead by Washington Mystics small forward Elena Delle Donne.

LA-based Photographer Maria Noble was courtside for Good Sport taking it all in.

The 3-point Shootout and also the skills challenge took place the night prior to the exhibition game. Shekinna Stricklen of the Connecticut Sun and Kayla Mcbride of the Las Vegas Suns scored 21 and 22 in the first round of the Shootout respectively and advanced to the second, where Stricklen took the victory by just 1 point, 23 to 22.

Chicago small forward Diamond DeShields walked away victorious from the skills challenge after out-working Connecticut centre Jonquel Jones.

Chicago small forward Diamond DeShields walked away victorious from the skills challenge after out-working Connecticut centre Jonquel Jones.

2019 marks the first year both of these events had taken place at the WNBA All-Star weekend since 2006.

Despite being outscored in all quarters beside the first, Team Wilson, led by Erica Wheeler’s 25 pts, walked away with the win 129 – 126.

Wheeler took home the MVP trophy for her performance in the game. An extraordinary feat considering the Indiana Fever point guard previously went undrafted by the WNBA in 2013. Instead, she opted to play 2 years in Puerto Rico before finding a place with the Atlanta Dream. In doing so, Wheeler has become the first undrafted player to be named All-Star Game MVP in the history of the WNBA.