Uncasville, CT -- The story coming into the 2015 WNBA All-Star Game was the unusual number of players that would take the court in an All-Star Game for the first time. One of those first-time All-Stars, undoubtedly, took advantage of the moment she had in the spotlight.
Connecticut Sun guard Alex Bentley led all scorers on the Eastern Conference All-Star team with 23 points on Saturday afternoon. Bentley scored 18 of those points in the second and third quarters, when she really got it going from behind the three-point line. She was 4-for-5 in those two-quarters from behind the arc.
"I've been dreaming for days like this all my life," Bentley said. "It's been pretty surreal for today to be able to play with the greats of the game. It was an incredible experience, and I'm just very blessed and happy to be here."
Bentley's game was not the only thing on display at the All-Star game. Her personality also found a way to stand out every time she made a shot.
"It's her energy," Chicago Sky and Eastern Conference Head Coach Pokey Chatman said. "She made a bucket, and I looked at my staff and I said, ‘She looks like she's just enjoying it so much, and having so much fun.' (She's) just an infectious type of player with that energy that had her teammates cheering for her."
Bentley's infectious personality once again caught the eye of everyone in the building when she ran out to center court during a timeout to get her home crowd going at a pivotal moment in the game.
"I just wanted to pump up the crowd," Bentley said. "It's the fourth quarter with four minutes left to go, and it was pretty quiet in there. So I just wanted to pump up the crowd, make some noise and make this weekend even more special. Our fans came out and did what they always do, which is support and get loud for us."
While Bentley was working to make the weekend special for the fans that came to support her, one player on her All-Star team was making this a pretty special time for her as well. Bentley grew up and went to high school in Indiana, so being a part of Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings' last All-Star Game only added to the experience.
"It's surreal," Bentley said. "I probably won't actually soak all of this weekend in until next week honestly. I used to watch her (Catchings) play, and I wanted to be where she was. Now I'm here playing with her, high-fiving her and passing her the ball. It's just incredible."
This year's All-Star Game Most Valuable Player also noticed the type of game Bentley was having, and said it was great to have someone on the other team as hot as she was.
"(Bentley) played great," Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore said. "She just played aggressive. She's such an All-Star player. That's when she shines. She's one of those players that gets in a rhythm and gets the crowd involved, so it was a fun day for her. It made it a fun game."
Had it not been for Moore's eight straight points in the final minutes, Bentley might have been named MVP had the Eastern Conference found a way to win the game. Bentley says she was not even thinking about the individual award.
"I just hated that we lost," Bentley said. "I thought we were definitely going to pull it out, so that's what I'm mad about, but it's all good. Today's all about having fun, and seeing the best come out and showcase our talent. That's what everyone did today."