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Three hometown players lead WNBA All-Star reserves

The defending champion Chicago Sky will have four total representatives as they host the All-Star Game for the first time.

Chicago Sky v Phoenix Mercury Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The hometown Chicago Sky will be well-represented at this year’s All-Star Game to be held on July 10.

The defending champions were already sending Candace Parker to the game as a starter. Now, they will be adding three more reserves, including reigning Finals MVP Kahleah Copper, free-agent signing Emma Meesseman, and 12-year veteran Courtney Vandersloot. It is the second consecutive All-Star nod for both Copper and Vandersloot (fourth overall for Sloot), and the second All-Star berth for Meesseman, her first coming in 2015 with the Washington Mystics.

Those Mystics will be represented by a lone All-Star, Ariel Atkins, who earns a spot in the midseason showcase for a second time after being an Olympian a year ago. Not on the roster is Elena Delle Donne, who had previously been an All-Star in all of her healthy WNBA seasons. Delle Donne has played in 13 of Washington’s 21 games, and perhaps missed the cut due to lack of availability.

Another player missing the All-Star Game for the first time is Tina Charles. Her previous team, the Phoenix Mercury, will be represented by Skylar Diggins-Smith, but not Diana Taurasi. Diggins-Smith is top 10 in the league in scoring, assists, and steals en route to her sixth All-Star appearance. Charles’ current team, the Seattle Storm, added Jewell Loyd as a reserve to their two starters.

The Las Vegas Aces, who have the best record in the WNBA, also added a fourth All-Star in Dearica Hamby, who gets the nod for the second consecutive year. The Connecticut Sun, who are third in the league standings, add two more frontcourt All-Stars in Bri Jones and Alyssa Thomas.

The team with the WNBA’s best net rating in the month of the June, the surging New York Liberty, added another All-Star, as Natasha Howard will join teammate Sabrina Ionescu in Chicago. Rounding out the squad are Arike Ogunbowale, the reigning All-Star MVP, and rookie Rhyne Howard, the lone rookie in the field.

Howard’s inclusion means that 11 of the 12 WNBA teams are represented in this field, with the Indiana Fever as the lone team not to have an All-Star. In a related note, Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell is one of the highest-profile snubs from this year’s roster in addition to Delle Donne. Allisha Gray, Chelsea Gray, and Ezi Magbegor also merited consideration for the 2022 team.