4 Pac-12 women's basketball alums selected 2023 WNBA All-Stars
SAN FRANCISCO - Four Pac-12 women's basketball alumnae - Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally, Stanford's Nneka Ogwumike and Washington's Kelsey Plum - have been named 2023 WNBA All-Stars and will take the court when the league's 19th midseason showcase tips off on Saturday, July 15 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
It's just the fourth time in Conference history, and first since 2003, that the Pac-12 boasts four or more WNBA All-Star selections. In 2003, USC's Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson were voted Western Conference starters and joined by Eastern Conference reserve in UCLA's Natalie Williams, although Cooper-Dyke and Thompson did not play due to injury. The same quartet was also selected in 2000, with an injury sidelining Cooper-Dyke, and Arizona State's Kym Hampton joined the group at the first All-Star Game in 1999 when a Conference-record five alums appeared in the event at Madison Square Garden.
Sabally and Ogwumike were selected by fans, current WNBA players and media as two of 10 starters and are both on Team Stewart, which was picked by All-Star captain Breanna Stewart of the New York Liberty. It's Sabally's second All-Star selection (2021) and first start. The Dallas Wings forward ranks 15th in the WNBA in scoring (17.6 ppg) and seventh in rebounding (9.2 rpg) this season, career highs in both categories. Her 14-point, 13-rebound effort against Los Angeles on June 14 made her the first player in franchise history and the eighth in league history to record seven straight double-doubles.
Now an eight-time All-Star and a starter for the second consecutive season, Ogwumike ranks fifth in the league in scoring (19.8 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (9.6 rpg). A five-time All-WNBA selection and the 2016 WNBA MVP, Ogwumike helped the Los Angeles Sparks win the 2016 WNBA championship.
It's the second consecutive season and sixth time overall the Pac-12 has had multiple players voted All-Star starters. The league had a record four starters in 1999, three voted starters in 2022, 2003 and 2000, and two picked to start in 2002.
Both making their second All-Star appearances, Ionescu and Plum are two of 12 reserves, which were chosen by the league's head coaches. Ionescu is also on Team Stewart and ranks second on the New York Liberty in scoring (16.4 ppg) behind Stewart and second in assists (5.1 apg). Ionescu made her All-Star debut and was an All-WNBA Team selection last year when she became the first player in league history to total 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in a season.
Plum is on Team Wilson, which is captained by her Las Vegas Aces' teammate A’ja Wilson. She was last season's WNBA All-Star Game MVP after tying Maya Moore’s record with 30 points in Team Wilson’s win over Team Stewart. Plum, an All-WNBA First Team selection in 2022 after being the WNBA Sixth Player of the Year the prior season, is averaging 19.1 points and 4.1 assists this season.
In addition to Saturday's All-Star Game, Ionescu will compete in Friday's STARRY® WNBA 3-Point Contest along with Washington's Sami Whitcomb. Connecticut Sun guard DiJonai Carrington, who played four seasons at Stanford before grad transferring to Baylor, is also in the six-person, 3-point field. Ionescu, Plum and Sabally are also participating in the Kia WNBA Skills Challenge on Friday.
The 19th WNBA All-Star Game will be televised live by ABC at 5:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 15, while ESPN will broadcast the Kia WNBA Skills Challenge and the WNBA STARRY® 3-Point Contest on Friday, July 14 at 1 p.m. PT.