Phoenix Mercury trio named WNBA all-stars for 2018 season

The Phoenix Mercury will be well represented in this year’s WNBA All-Star 2018 Game as Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner each have been named WNBA all-stars the league announced Tuesday, July 17.

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Tauras (3) elevates for a jumper against the Dallas Wings May 14, 2017 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

As part of the league’s new voting format, fans, media and current WNBA players voted in the trio were voted, according to a press release.

The WNBA All-Star 2018 Game will be at the Target Center in Minneapolis Saturday, July 28, and will be televised on ABC with tip-off at 12:30 p.m. in Arizona.

With the three selections, this year’s all-star game will mark the fourth time in franchise history the Mercury has had three players play in the game, joining 2007, 2014 and 2015, a release states.

The trio will join the Mercury’s coaching staff of Sandy Brondello, Julie Hairgrove and Todd Troxel in Minnesota, as Phoenix’s staff was named coaches for the game Thursday, July 12 after being guaranteed to have one of the two best records in the league by Friday, July 13.

Following this year’s selection, Taurasi has now been voted a WNBA all-star in all nine of the all-star games in which she was eligible for in her 14-year career.

At 36, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer has continued to play at an elite level, ranking sixth in scoring and assists as well as ranks first in both free throw percentage and 3-point makes this season.

Taurasi became the first player in WNBA history to score 8,000 career points, reaching the landmark June 5 in New York, surpassing Tina Thompson as the league’s all-time leader in field goals Thursday, July 5.

She joins Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players in NBA/WNBA history to average 20 or more points in a season at the age of 36 or older.

Griner earns an all-star nod for the fifth time in her career, also every year in which she has been eligible. Although she was unable to play in last year’s game because of injury, Griner has continued to be a handful in the post this season.

The 2017 WNBA scoring champion ranks third in the league in scoring, eighth in rebounding, eighth in field goal percentage and leads the league in blocks as she has in every season of her career.

Griner is the only player in the WNBA this season averaging at least 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game, a feat only Anthony Davis accomplished in the 2017-18 NBA season.

She is also coming off her best game of the season after finishing with a season-high 36 points and 12 rebounds in a win at Indiana Sunday, July 15.

After missing the 2017 WNBA season to give birth to twins, Bonner will be making her second WNBA all-star appearance in her career after a stellar season so far.

The two-time WNBA champion is averaging 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists (ties career high) and 1.3 steals in 22 games this season while shooting 46.5-percent from the field (ties career high).

Bonner ranks in the league’s top-20 this season in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, field goal percentage and free throw percentage, the only player in the league to do so this summer.

She has scored in double figures in all but three games this season and has registered two double-doubles on the year.

As part of the league’s new All-Star format, the two captains will select their 11-player rosters from the 20 remaining players who were selected as all-stars in the coming days.

Teams will be announced later this week and coaching staffs will choose starting lineups and captains prior to the game. All this will be announced close to WNBA All-Star 2018 Weekend.

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