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3 Aces players to start in WNBA All-Star Game

The Aces, whose 13-3 record leads the WNBA, will have three starters for the July 10 All-Star Game in Chicago.

Forward A’ja Wilson, wing Jackie Young and guard Kelsey Plum on Wednesday were among the 10 starters named, and Wilson will be one of four co-captains.

The Aces have more starters than any other team for the game at Wintrust Center. The 12 reserves will be announced Tuesday.

This is the fourth selection for Wilson, who is averaging 18.4 points this season. She also is averaging career highs in rebounds (9.6), blocks (2.4) and field-goal percentage (50.7). She led all forwards in fan and player voting and was second in the media vote.

“She’s playing at a very elite level on both ends of the floor,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said.

Wilson was named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday for the third time this season and the ninth time in her career. Hammon said she thinks Wilson is just beginning to find her offensive rhythm, but her impact on defense has been unquestionable.

“I go back to what we’ve asked her to do defensively,” Hammon said. “She’s been exceptional at that end, and that’s really been the difference maker for us.”

Plum and Young will be making their All-Star Game debuts. Plum, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, is enjoying a breakout season since returning to the starting lineup. She’s one of the league’s top scorers at 20.3 points per game, is hitting 41 percent of her 3s and averaging a career-best 6.0 assists. She led all guards in fan, media and player voting.

Young, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft, also has been a revelation this season. She’s averaging 18.2 points on 50.3 percent shooting and has hit 45.7 percent of her 3s, with 1.5 steals and 0.4 blocks per game. She finished second among guards in fan, media and player voting.

Wilson and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird are co-captains for one team, and Storm forward Breanna Stewart and Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles will co-captain the other. Bird and Fowles have said they will retire after the season.

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was named an honorary starter by commissioner Cathy Engelbert. The six-time All-Star has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after authorities at an airport outside of Moscow said she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her bag.

“The opportunity of being an All-Star is an honor … but I can’t talk about the All-Star Game without talking about BG,” Stewart said.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.

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