by Roger Zotti
“It was a special Mohegan Sun event, a class act, and it brought together the best players from both conferences – which, of course, included a successful representation of UConn players,” said Uncasville resident Phil Carney, longtime Connecticut Sun and UConn basketball fan. Of course, Phil is talking about the 2009 WNBA All-Star game played at Mohegan Sun Arena, July 25.
At the final buzzer the Western Conference All Stars had scored 130 points and the Eastern Conference All-Stars 118 – which meant the 9,518 fans were treated to the most total points ever in a WNBA All-Star contest. Clearly players and fans enjoyed the lack of defense: 210 shots were taken and 73 three-pointers recorded.
Before the game, photographer and writer Chris Annino of The Resident spoke with the West’s Diana Taurasi, former UCONN great and current Phoenix Mercury guard, and Minnesota Lynx center Nicky Anosike. “The WNBA All-Star game is all about the fans and giving them a good show,” Diana said. “They deserve nothing but the best because without them we wouldn’t be here.”
Nicky said, “I am very happy about coming back. It feels great. If there is anything I could tell the kids out there, it would be if you wait and are patient, good things will come.”
He also talked with WNBA president Donna Orender and former UConn All-American Rebecca Lobo. “The WNBA has done very well in its only 13 years of existence,” Donna said. After the game she told Chris, “I told Sylvia Fowles before today’s game to slam a few buckets in. I was glad she did.”
Rebecca, who played with the New York Liberty and finished her WNBA career with the Connecticut Sun, is now a broadcaster for ESPN. “It’s great to be home and I love that there are five former Connecticut players in the game,” she said. “It is going to be a special event today.”
ALL-STAR GAME NOTES
After they were introduced Connecticut’s Asjha Jones (six points, six assists), Rebecca Lobo, and UConn coach Geno Auriemma received the loudest and longest cheers of the afternoon…. Replacing the injured Lisa Leslie, Sacramento’s Nicole Powell made her All-Star debut, tallying 21 points for the West…. Former UConn star Swin Cash of Seattle notched 22 points for the West, an All-Star game record, along with six rebounds and four assists, and was the game’s MVP…. During a time out, fans were treated to the talents of the New York Liberty Timeless Torches dance team. Wow! Go to YouTube.com/Timeless Torches to learn about these incredibly gifted and entertaining performers…. The six newest members of the 2010 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame were announced during the nationally televised game. One of them, Leta Andrews, Granbury (Texas) High School coach, is entering her 48th season. Her 1,262 victories make her the winningest girls’ coach in the country. Other inductees are Teresa Edwards, Gloria Ray, Teresa Witherspoon, Chris Weller, and Rebecca Lobo…. Kudos to Sylvia Fowles who brought the crowd to its feet with a successful dunk…. But where was Connecticut’s Lindsay Whalen? She deserves a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star roster.