SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm has announced the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game candidacy for Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd, Natasha Howard and Sue Bird. In partnership with the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, the Seattle Storm quartet has announced their candidacy for the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game.
JUNE 22 PREGAME #WNBAVOTE RALLY AND MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Fans and media are invited to attend a pregame rally and media availability for Bird, Howard, Loyd and Stewart on June 22, beginning at 5 p.m./PT on KeyArena’s West Plaza. All in attendance will have a chance to hear from the four potential WNBA All-Stars on why fans should cast their #WNBAVote for each Storm player. In addition, fans who attend will have the chance to receive their 2018 #WNBAVote “I Voted” stickers, campaign posters and interact with the candidates. Doors to the arena will open at 5:30 p.m./PT for Happy Hour presented by Bloodworks. Beers will be at happy hour pricing ($5 domestic, $6 premium) until the game tips off at 7 p.m./PT.
#WNBAVOTE SUE BIRD
A 10-time WNBA All-Star, Bird is once again helping lead Seattle to one of the best offenses in the WNBA. As of June 16, the Storm ranks in the top three in field goals made per game (31.7), and number one in both three-point percentage (37.2) and three-pointers made per game (8.7). Seattle also ranks second in the league in assists at 20.6 per game, with 5.9 coming from Bird. Her 5.9 assist average ranks second in the WNBA this season. Bird ranks sixth in the league in offensive rating as well at 114.5. Through just eight games this season, Bird has been climbing the record books in a number of different categories. She currently ranks eighth WNBA history in points at 5,926 as well as eighth in field goals made at 2,162. Bird also ranks fourth all-time in three-pointers made at 809 and sixth all-time in steals at 626. Last season, Bird passed Ticha Penicheiro (2,599) on Sept. 1, 2017 at Washington to become the WNBA’s all-time assist leader with 2,659 dimes. Since joining the league in 2002, Bird has continued to post consistent numbers each season, averaging 12.2 points and 5.5 assists per game for her career while shooting 42.6 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from three and 85.1 percent from the line. Bird has also boasted a 2.18 assist to turnover ratio for her career, including 4.5 this season, good for fifth in the league. At age 36, she is the oldest active player in the WNBA.
#WNBAVOTE NATASHA HOWARD
Howard has thrived in her new role with the Seattle this season. Through eleven games this season, Howard is posting 15.0 points per game after never posting more than 7.0 points per game in any other year in her career. She ranks 15th in the league in rebounds per game (6.7) and third in blocks per game (1.7). Howard set a new career-high for rebounds and points this season, pulling down 15 boards against Atlanta on June 10 and scoring 25 in a win over Connecticut on June 15.
#WNBAVOTE JEWELL LOYD
Loyd has continued to grow as a player in 2018, raising her averages in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and three-point percentage from a year ago. Loyd is currently posting 18.3 points per game, which ranks tied for ninth in the league. She also ranks fourth in the league in three-pointers made (26), sixth in field goals made (66) and fourth in offensive rating (115.4). Loyd has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, with a five game stretch of 20 points or more that included back to back 29 point outings. She also hit a career-high five three pointers against the Las Vegas Aces on May 31, where the Storm broke the WNBA record for most three-pointers made in a game with 17 threes.
#WNBAVOTE BREANNA STEWART
Coming off her first all-start selection in 2017, Stewart has picked up right where she left off so far in 2018. Through eleven games this year she is among the top 10 in five different categories. Stewart ranks third in the league in points per game (21.5), ninth in rebounds per game (7.3), fourth in blocks per game (1.6), third in field goals made per game (7.9) and fifth in offensive rating (115.2). In just three years in the league, Stewart has 27 double digit rebound games, and posted 22 career double-doubles, including a 22 point, 15 rebound performance in her season debut against Phoenix. Stewart has scored 1,514 points since she entered the league, which ranks second among all active players just behind Tina Charles.
OTHER WAYS TO CAST YOUR #WNBAVOTE
WNBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off on Tuesday, June 19 at 2 p.m. ET and will conclude on Thursday, July 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET. WNBA fans may submit one full ballot each day through WNBA.com (desktop or mobile) or the WNBA App (available on Android and iOS). Fans may also vote for up to 10 players per day on Twitter, with re-tweets counting as votes. Additional details regarding voting can be found at http://www.wnba.com/.
NEW 2018 WNBA ALL-STAR FORMAT
Under the revamped format, two captains will draft the 2018 All-Star teams from the pool of players voted as All-Stars. The captains will be the two All-Stars, regardless of conference, who receive the highest vote totals. To complement the change from the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference that was used in the previous 14 All-Star Games, the WNBA will also implement a new voting process for selecting the 22 All-Stars. Rather than having to select an equal number of players from each conference, voters will now choose the All-Stars without regard for conference affiliation. The selection of 2018 All-Stars will be conducted through a combination of voting by fans (40 percent of the vote), current WNBA players and head coaches (20 percent each), and a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters (20 percent). Fans will be able to vote for their top 10 players regardless of position or conference. Players, coaches and the media panel will each vote for 22 players, selecting nine guards and 13 frontcourt players regardless of conference. Players and coaches may not vote for members of their own team.
ABOUT THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF SEATTLE-KING COUNTY
The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has been empowering voters and defending democracy since 1921. The League’s mission is to promote informed and active participation in government and to increase voters’ understanding of major public policy issues—activities include registering voters and “get out the vote” events, sponsoring free monthly forums, producing a directory of elected officials, conducting in-depth and balanced studies, leading civic education programs, and more. While its history is rooted in the women’s suffrage movement, League members include women and men of all ages and backgrounds who believe that focusing on the issues rather than partisan politics will lead to a stronger democracy. The Seattle-King County League is one of the largest local chapters in the United States, with approximately 700 members. Visit their website at www.seattlelwv.org.
ABOUT THE SEATTLE STORM
The two-time WNBA champion Seattle Storm is one of six independently owned teams in the WNBA, the world’s most successful women’s professional team sports league. Established in 2000, the Storm is committed to bringing outstanding professional basketball to a fan base rich with tradition and support. The Storm leads the way for change in the community with outreach programs for youth basketball, health and fitness. The organization looks to be an inspiration for girls and women while providing support and motivation to better the Puget Sound. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit StormBasketball.com.