Las Vegas, NV – It was a night to remember under the stars as the WNBA’s 17th All-Star Game took place on Wednesday afternoon. The league’s top talent squared off against each other between the WNBA All-Stars versus the USA Basketball Women’s National Team. It was competitive from the opening tip, but Team WNBA came out on top to win 93-85 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
Team WNBA’s Arike Ogunbowale balled out and took home the coveted MVP Award dropping 26 points. She went 10/18 from the floor and 5/10 from 3-point range in her first All-Star appearance.
“It’s dope. I mean I scored a little bit early and then teammates like them [Jonquel Jones and Satou Sabally] you know nobody is selfish on this team. They are going to feed whoever is hot,” said Ogunbowale.
Candace Parker (6th All-Star selection) commented on her All-Star teammate Ogunbowale winning the award as a first time All-Star.
“I mean Arike, we play against Dallas all the time. We know there’s a heavy dose of Arike Ogunbowale. So, when she’s got it going, just keep feeding her. And that’s what it was. This is her first All-Star’s. This is her element.”
Team WNBA led by one point 44-43 going into halftime, and it was a close game from beginning to end.
During the halftime show, Chicago Sky’s Allie Quigley won her third career 3-point contest with 28 points. She is the third player in NBA/ WNBA history to win the contest three times.
“It’s definitely not easy,” said Quigley. “It’s stressful actually. A little nerve racking, but I think you just kind of got to get into a rhythm. Be confident, try to relax as much as you can. Team WNBA had my back, so it just felt cool to be out there.”
Upon accepting her trophy, Quigley told the crowd that this would be her last time participating in the contest.
The crowd booed her in disappointment.
After the game Quigley stuck by her statement.
“I told myself before this. I’m like this is the last time that I’m doing this. So, I got to go out on top.”
As part of the league’s 25th season celebrations, the WNBA honored the gold-medal winning 1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team with a special presentation going into the fourth quarter.
Current Olympic players paid homage and gave the 1996 Olympic team their flowers. Bouquets of roses to be exact.
Team WNBA starters included DeWanna Bonner, Jonquel Jones, Candace Parker, Arike Ogunbowale, and Courtney Vandersloot.
USA Women’s starters were Sue Bird, Brittney Griner, Jewell Lloyd, Breanna Stewart, and A’ja Wilson.
WNBA Legends Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson served as Co-Head Coaches of Team WNBA.
The USA Women’s National Team was under the direction of Head Coach Dawn Staley, herself a member of the WNBA’s All-Decade Team.
Team USA’s Diana Taurasi did not play as she is still nursing a hip injury. Her goal is to be ready for the Olympics in Tokyo.
Team WNBA’s Liz Cambage also did not play, but enjoyed the show cheering from the sideline.
The WNBA will resume the second half of their season following the Tokyo Olympics on August 15.