By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 12, 2007
Washington will host the 2007 WNBA All-Star Game, a source with knowledge of the situation said yesterday.
The WNBA and the Washington Mystics have scheduled a news conference at Verizon Center on Tuesday, with WNBA President Donna Orender, Lincoln Holdings Chairman Ted Leonsis, Mystics President and managing partner Sheila Johnson and forward Nikki Teasley also slated to attend. While team and league officials have been mum, the source said an announcement that the eighth WNBA All-Star Game is coming to nation's capital will formally be made then.
This will be the second time that the women's professional basketball league has brought its midseason classic to Washington. In 2002, the Los Angeles Sparks' Lisa Leslie led the Western Conference to an 81-76 victory over the Eastern Conference before an all-star game record crowd of 19,487 at Verizon Center, then known as MCI Center.
Washington will become the second city to host the all-star game more than once. New York has hosted three games, including last season, when the East recorded its first victory, 98-82, at Madison Square Garden. The Mystics' Alana Beard started the game last July.
Phoenix, Orlando and Uncasville, Conn., have also hosted the event. With the exception of 2004 -- when the league held a month-long break to allow players to prepare for the Olympics -- the game has been played every season since 1999.
The Mystics will open their season at home against the Connecticut Sun on May 19.