July 8, 2006 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
NEW YORK (JULY 8, 2006), - The 2006 WNBA All-Star festivities on Tuesday, July 11, will include two basketball competitions featuring select players who will compete against the clock and each other. The Dribble, Dish and Swish Challenge and the Three-Point Shoot Out will take place prior to the East and West All-Star Practices at Madison Square Garden. The competitions begin at 1:30 p.m. and are open to the public free of charge.
In the Dribble, Dish and Swish Challenge, four players will compete in a two-round, timed "obstacle course" that consists of dribbling, passing and shooting stations. Sue Bird, the winner of the event in 2005, will defend her title against challengers Deanna Nolan, Seimone Augustus and Cappie Pondexter. All players must observe basic ball-handling rules throughout the course and the two players with the fastest times from the first round will advance to a final head to head competition to determine the champion. Although Dawn Staley won the inaugural event at Madison Square Garden in 2003, Bird set the course record during an early round at 26.5 seconds.
In addition, the Three-Point Shootout will debut this year with sharpshooters Diana Taurasi, Katie Douglas, Mwadi Mabika, Becky Hammon, Tamika Catchings and Katie Smith as participants. The players will compete in the two-round competition with the top three finishers from the first round advancing to the finals. Five shooting stations will be set up around the three-point line, with four WNBA balls each worth one point and one "money ball" worth two points at each location.
These events will air live on NBA TV at 1:30 p.m. prior to full coverage of the East and West practices beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The 2006 WNBA All-Star Game Presented by Vonage will be hosted by the New York Liberty on Wednesday, July 12 at Madison Square Garden and will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7:20 p.m. EDT. ESPN\'s pregame show, WNBA Shootaround, begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT.
In addition, the game will be seen in a record 198 countries around the globe with commentary in 33 languages via 57 telecasters. This year\'s record global television distribution breaks last year\'s reach of 193 countries through 52 telecasters in 31 languages. The following telecasters will televise the game for the first time: Bahamas (NBA TV-Cable Bahamas, China (Nusports.cn), Iceland (NBA TV- Digital Island, Italy (Sportitalia), Mexico (TVC and NBA TV-PCTV, Middle East (NBA TV-Orbit), Serbia (Sport Klub), and Venezuela (NBA TV-Intercable).
WNBA rosters for the 2006 season feature 29 international players from 18 countries and territories on team rosters this season. Among the international players named WNBA All-Star 2006 starters, are the Seattle Storm's Lauren Jackson (Australia) and the Connecticut Sun\'s Margo Dydek (Poland).
With tickets starting at $10, fans can enjoy the unique experience of seeing the WNBA\'s superstars together in one place at Madison Square Garden, the World\'s Most Famous Arena. Tickets for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game Presented by Vonage can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster Retail Locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-877-WNBA-TIX. Tickets are also available for purchase at Madison Square Garden\'s Box Office, through WNBA.com and at the NBA Store in New York.
About the WNBA Featuring 14 teams and the greatest female basketball players from around the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women\'s professional team sports league in U.S. history. The league\'s historic 10th Anniversary season, which tipped off on Saturday, May 20, features significant interactivity with fans who will play a key role in selecting the league\'s All-Decade Team, the WNBA\'s Greatest Moments and the starters for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game Presented by Vonage set to take place on July 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City (live on ESPN at 7:30 ET). The WNBA\'s "10 Years of Caring" initiative, which tipped off during the week of May 8, is another way in which the league is celebrating its milestone season. The "10 Years of Caring" platform, which underscores the continued commitment of WNBA teams and players to the communities in which they live and play, will see all 14 teams active in their respective markets, engaging with fans in a variety of programs throughout the year.
The WNBA\'s 10th Anniversary season includes appointment viewing on Tuesday nights as ESPN2 will televise 14 WNBA games - including five doubleheaders - on Tuesdays this spring/summer. WNBA games and programming also will be shown in 198 countries via 79 telecasters in 34 languages this season. For more information on the WNBA, log onto www.wnba.com.