While this Sunday's game between the NBA's Eastern and Western Conference All-Stars will be the main event of this weekend, WNBA players have also been part of the festivities and events leading up to it and this year is no different.
This year, five players will take part in some of the weekend's major events. Two players will take part in the 2014 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game tonight at 7:00 PM ET which you can watch on ESPN. Four players will be at the Sears Shooting Stars Event the following day, Saturday, February 15 at 8:00 PM ET which is part of the NBA's All-Star Saturday Night. You watch All-Star Saturday Night on TNT.
So let's get to them.
Elena Delle Donne, F, Chicago Sky
Delle Donne is the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year, and helped the Sky get to its first playoff berth in franchise history. In the regular season, Delle Donne averaged 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game for Chicago.
She came to the WNBA as a potential three point threat, and she delivered on that, where she made 43.8% of her three point shots (42-96 attempts). Here's a YouTube video from the WNBA's video channel on her relationship with her family, in particular her sister, Lizzie, who has cerebral palsy.
And here's a highlight reel of Delle Donne last year as well.
What events she will be in: The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and the Shooting Stars event. Delle Donne will be on the same team with New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. and former NBA player Tim Hardaway, Sr. for the Shooting Stars Event. Hardaway, Sr. is Hardaway, Jr's father.
Skylar Diggins, G, Tulsa Shock
Diggins is best known from her college days when she was at the University of Notre Dame, where she helped lead the Fighting Irish to three straight Final Fours from 2011-2013, and left as the team's all-time career leading scorer with 2,357 points.
For the Shock last summer, she had an up and down rookie campaign, averaging 8.5 points and 3.8 assists per game, but she still made the 2013 All-Rookie team.
Here is an interview Diggins did last December on Sway's Universe which can be heard on Shade 45 of Sirius XM Radio, where she answers questions on the WNBA and also had to answer questions on negative perceptions of the league:
In addition, here's a highlight video from the WNBA on Diggins' pro debut last season against the Atlanta Dream. Hopefully we'll see her show more highlights like this on a consistent basis going forward:
What events she will be in: The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and the Shooting Stars Event, Diggins will be with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and former NBA player Karl Malone for the latter event.
Swin Cash, F, Chicago Sky
Cash is a three time WNBA champion while playing for the Detroit Shock in 2003 and 2006, and for the Seattle Storm in 2010. She was also on the Team USA women's basketball team for 2004 and 2012 which won Olympic gold medals in both of those times. While on the Sky last year, Cash averaged 9.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while playing in all 34 games.
If you're wondering why her numbers appear to be a little pedestrian, keep in mind that she was also playing on the same team with the aforementioned Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, who was the 2013 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and All-Star guard Epiphanny Prince, who averaged 15 points a game.
Cash also has a knack for standing out in All-Star events. She is one of two WNBA players to be an All-Star MVP twice, having done so in 2009 and 2011. And Cash has also won the Shooting Stars event twice before, first in 2007 while with Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups and former NBA player Bill Laimbeer (who was also the Detroit Shock head coach at the time); and she won it last year in 2013 with Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh and former NBA player Dominique Wilkins.
And for your viewing pleasure, here's a video of last year's Shooting Stars competition:
What events she will be in: The Shooting Stars Event. Since she is the defending champion, she will team up once again with Bosh and Wilkins.
Becky Hammon, G, San Antonio Stars (That's right, they're no longer Silver)
Hammon is one of the All-Time greats in the WNBA, and is seventh in career scoring. She is also second in the league for career three pointers made with 782. Hammon is also known for playing for the Russian National Women's Basketball Team in 2008 and 2012 for the Olympics, and it came with some controversy.
Last season was a forgettable one for Hammon though, because she only played one game where she tore her ACL. Before her one game for the 2013 season, she had a broken finger which she suffered in practice.
Like Cash, Hammon has won the NBA Shooting Stars Event twice in the past, having done so in 2008 with San Antonio Spurs PF/C Tim Duncan and former Spurs star David Robinson; and once again in 2010 with Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki and former NBA player Kenny Smith.
And for your viewing pleasure, here's a video of the 2010 Shooting Stars Event:
What events she will be in: The Shooting Stars Event, where she will team up with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and former NBA player Dell Curry, who is Stephen's father. I'm calling this team the preliminary favorite for the competition.
Tamika Catchings, F, Indiana Fever
Catchings is a WNBA MVP from 2011, a three time Olympic Gold Medalist in 2004, 2008, and 2012. And she won the 2012 WNBA Finals. She is also a five-time Defensive Player of the Year, having done so in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012. Catchings is also the WNBA Players Union President.
Here's a video from the WNBA with Catchings that you can see here:
What events she will be in: The All-Star Celebrity Game.
Overall, I'm glad to see that two of the "Big Three Rookies" from last year will be in this year's NBA All-Star Weekend. I also wish that more WNBA stars would be part of it too, but as we all know too well, overseas basketball is why many of those stars aren't here.
Anyway, which WNBA player will have the best showing at this weekend's festivities? Sound off in the comments below!
For more coverage on the 2014 NBA All-Star Game Weekend, please see SB Nation's section by clicking here.
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