Fever's Catchings top WNBA All-Star vote-getter

Updated: July 9, 2006, 1:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird were the leading vote-getters among the WNBA All-Star starters announced Wednesday.

WNBA All-Star Starters
Eastern Conference:
Tamika Catchings (Fever), F
Nykesha Sales (Sun), F
Becky Hammon (Liberty), G
Lindsay Whalen (Sun), G
Margo Dydek (Sun), C

Western Conference:
Sheryl Swoopes (Comets), F
Lauren Jackson (Storm), F
Sue Bird (Storm), G
Dawn Staley (Comets), G
Yolanda Griffith (Monarchs), C

Catchings was the leading vote-getter for the July 12 game at Madison Square Garden in New York. It is the first time that Catchings topped the voting, and she has reached the All-Star game in each of her five seasons.

Bird, a three-time All-Star, received the second-most votes and is one of the West starters.

The league also will debut uniforms for both teams. In the past, starters wore their team uniforms.

Catchings is averaging 16.1 points and 7.9 rebounds this season for the Fever, which was third in the WNBA's Eastern Conference entering Wednesday night.

She will be joined in the Eastern Conference starting lineup by three Connecticut Sun players: forward Nykesha Sales, center Margo Dydek and guard Lindsay Whalen. New York Liberty guard Becky Hammon rounds out the starting five.

Bird, averaging 10.3 points, 5.4 assists and 1.67 steals, was the top vote-getter in the Western Conference. She will be joined by teammate and forward Lauren Jackson as a starter.

The Houston Comets will also have two starters in forward Sheryl Swoopes and guard Dawn Staley, while Yolanda Griffith of the Sacramento Monarchs will start at center.

Reserves will be announced Saturday.

Sacramento's John Whisenant and Connecticut's Mike Thibault earlier were named head coaches the All-Star Game.

The WNBA All-Star Game will be televised July 12 by ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.