Fans tab Sun's Whalen as final reserve
In college, Lindsay Whalen had no trouble winning over the fans when she stayed close to home and attended Minnesota.
On Thursday, Whalen, a rookie guard for the Connecticut Sun, was named to the All-Star team that will compete in the WNBA vs. USA Basketball Game at Radio City. The exhibition game, which serves as a sendoff for the U.S. National Team as it prepares for the Athens Olympics, will be played at 7 p.m. ET Aug. 5 (ESPN).
Whalen was the 11th player selected to the team, and was added via "Voice of the Fan" on-line balloting at WNBA.com. Whalen, who ranks second in the league with 5.4 assists per game, joins Phoenix Mercury guard Anna DeForge, Los Angeles Sparks guard Nikki Teasley, Connecticut Sun forward Nykesha Sales, Detroit Shock forward Cheryl Ford and Connecticut Sun center Taj McWilliams-Franklin, who were voted the All-Star starters by a panel of local and national media on July 15.
On July 22, head coaches of the 13 WNBA teams selected New York guard Becky Hammon, Detroit guard Deanna Nolan, Charlotte forward Allison Feaster, Los Angeles forward Mwadi Mabika and Indiana center Natalie Williams as reserves for the WNBA All-Star squad, which will be led by Detroit Head Coach Bill Laimbeer.
Detroit center Ruth Riley was originally selected to the team of WNBA All-Stars, but was later named to the U.S. National Team as a replacement for the injured DeLisha Milton-Jones.
The USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team roster is comprised of Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Swin Cash (Detroit Shock), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Yolanda Griffith (Sacramento Monarchs), Shannon Johnson (San Antonio Silver Stars), Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks), Riley (Detroit Shock), Katie Smith (Minnesota Lynx), Dawn Staley (Charlotte Sting), Sheryl Swoopes (Houston Comets), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Tina Thompson (Houston Comets).
The head coach of the U.S. team is Houston Comets coach Van Chancellor. He will be joined on the sidelines by Seattle Storm coach Anne Donovan, Duke coach Gail Goestenkors and Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer.
The U.S. capped a successful spring training schedule with an unblemished 13-0 record in its early preparations for Athens. Featuring three separate training sessions, the USA's competition ranged from national and professional club teams to the 2004 WBCA All-Star Team, with games played in six international arenas and four domestic cities.