Boucek, Laimbeer tabbed as WNBA All-Star coaches

NEW YORK -- Sacramento first-year head coach Jenny Boucek and Detroit's Bill Laimbeer will serve as the Western and Eastern conference All-Star coaches, the league announced late Sunday.

The All-Star Game, the eighth in league history, will be played July 15 in Washington, D.C. (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET).

The All-Star starters will be announced Tuesday live at halftime of ESPN2's telecast of the Los Angeles Sparks-Seattle Storm game in Seattle. WNBA head coaches will then select the remaining All-Stars in their respective conferences, with the reserves being announced on July 10.

The All-Star honor is the first for both coaches. Laimbeer will lead the Eastern Conference by virtue of having guided his club to the Eastern Conference crown (and ultimately the WNBA championship) last season.

Boucek, meanwhile, earned the honor because the Monarchs have the Western Conference's best record. Usually, the coach of the previous season's conference champion serves as the All-Star coach for that conference, provided that he or she remains in the same capacity. John Whisenant, however, resigned his head coaching position with the Monarchs after leading the club to the 2006 Western Conference title and is now serving as the team's general manager, meaning the Western Conference All-Star coach was selected on the basis of the team with the best winning percentage through July 1.

Sacramento is 11-6 for a .647 winning percentage, topping second place San Antonio (9-6, .600).

"I'm honored to be representing the Western Conference and Sacramento at the All-Star Game," said Boucek, the first person in WNBA history to serve as player, assistant coach and head coach in the league. "All the credit goes to our team. I am so proud to be a part of the Sacramento Monarchs and I wish they could all be there with us."

Said Laimbeer: "The East earned its first All-Star win last year and we'll be looking to make it two in a row this year while putting on a great show. Winning the championship last year was a lot of fun and this is one of the perks that comes along with that."

Tom Abatemarco, Monique Ambers and Steve Shuman, who served under Whisenant last year and now assist Boucek, will be the assistant coaches for the Western Conference squad. Laimbeer's assistants will be Rick Mahorn and Cheryl Reeve, both of whom helped Detroit capture the WNBA title a year ago.