Jonquel Jones, Betnijah Laney and Arike Ogunbowale will look to lead the WNBA All-Stars to victory against Team USA at the 2021 All-Star Game.
The roster for the non-Olympic All-Star team was announced by the WNBA on Wednesday. Here it is:
— WNBA (@WNBA) June 30, 2021
Let’s take a look at these 12 deserving stars, seven of whom are first-time All-Stars.
DeWanna Bonner (fourth)
16.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.7 apg
Bonner started the season off with back-to-back 20-point games. After the second of those, a 27-point effort on May 16, Sun coach Curt Miller called her an “overshadowed superstar” and said the Sun fans were going to “be really entertained by her.” Bonner cooled off for a stretch, but her numbers across the three major categories remain high, making her one of the most versatile contributors in the league. She also heated up again recently with 25 points, 13 rebounds and six assists on June 22. She has followed up a great wubble season by keeping the Sun near the top of the league.
Liz Cambage (fourth)
Las Vegas Aces
14.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Cambage was No. 4 on Swish Appeal’s Top 30 list entering the season, but has admirably sacrificed scoring for the betterment of her team. The Aces offense runs through A’ja Wilson and Cambage does whatever it takes to win. She is a deserving All-Star because of her contributions to Vegas’ very successful season and because her scoring and rebounding numbers are still very good even if the scoring isn’t eye-popping.
Kahleah Copper (first)
13.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.2 spg
Copper started off hot and looked like the go-to scorer for the Sky with 42 points combined in her first two games of the season. She remains Chicago’s leading scorer, though their scoring is extremely balanced. Copper has followed up a great wubble season with similar numbers and is a part of winning basketball in Chicago.
Dearica Hamby (first)
Las Vegas Aces
11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Hamby brings a ton in terms of defense and intangibles and is a key contributor on one of the best teams in the league. She’s had a couple of scoring outbursts with 20-plus in back-to-back wins in late May. The two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year, who is coming off the bench again this year, is finally getting recognition as one of the best players in the league.
Brionna Jones (first)
14.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.1 spg
B. Jones had a breakout season in 2020, becoming a key contributor. Now she is a legit star who has filled in as a third big-three member in Alyssa Thomas’ absence. She went on a late hot streak right before All-Star voting ended that aided her campaign. Her three 20-point games this year all came in the second half of June. In a league where stretch bigs are now the norm, B. Jones is a truly prolific and efficient traditional big who is one of the best inside scorers in the league. This All-Star bid may be just the beginning for her.
Jonquel Jones (third)
21.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 1.2 bpg
J. Jones is one of the MVP frontrunners if you overlook the time she missed to play in EuroBasket. Before this season she was last seen by WNBA fans wreaking havoc in the 2019 Finals and she was expected to be an MVP candidate this year after missing out on the wubble. She has been as good as we could have expected and, in addition to her great averages, is shooting 49 percent from beyond the arc, good for second in the league.
Betnijah Laney (first)
New York Liberty
19.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.3 apg
Laney’s rise to stardom has been well-documented. She was the Most Improved Player in 2020 after raising her scoring average from 5.6 to 17.2. Now she’s a superstar and even an MVP candidate who is putting up the assist numbers of an All-Star point guard. She scored at least 20 points in each of her first eight games and has contributed to winning all season long, helping the Liberty turn things around.
Arike Ogunbowale (first)
20.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 1.6 spg
Ogunbowale nearly made the Olympic team and, since she didn’t, is going to be one of the top players on this All-Star team who could be crucial in giving it a chance to win against the best players in the world. She can score in so many different ways so she can be relied upon to put up something substantial in pretty much every game even if she’s not at her best. She’s scored 20-plus 10 times this season and notched her first 30-point game on June 26. She also gave us a signature clutch game-winner on June 6.
Candace Parker (fifth)
12.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.1 bpg
Parker has only played in nine games, but talk about valuable. The Sky are 8-1 with her and she is stuffing the stat sheet as usual. 12.2 points per game isn’t a ton by her standards, but the 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists epitomize her versatility. She is the most recognizable player on this roster and it just isn’t an All-Star Game without her.
Satou Sabally (first)
13.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Sabally has only played in 10 games this season, but the numbers are there. They’re very similar to last year so she hasn’t taken the huge leap she was expected to take yet, but look for that to happen in the second half of the season. Dallas has had a lot of players step up to contribute to its turnaround and Marina Mabrey’s performances may have flashier than Sabally’s, but it is Sabally’s steady presence that will be represented at the All-Star Game.
Courtney Vandersloot (third)
11.7 ppg, 8.5 apg, 2 spg
Vandersloot’s numbers are down from a 2020 season where some were calling for her to win the MVP award. But she is still in position to lead the league in assists per game for the fifth season in a row as she is two ahead of Chelsea Gray at the moment. Her streak of four-straight points-assists double-doubles from June 15 to June 22 was definitely All-Star worthy.
Courtney Williams (first)
17.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.4 spg
Williams was not featured on Swish Appeal’s Top 30 list entering the season, but she may be a Top 15 player now. She has a clutch game-winning shot to her credit and has been making the most of her prime at age 27. Her rebounding numbers have been great for a guard throughout her career and that hasn’t changed. Meanwhile, her points, assists and steals per game are all at least tied for a career high.