Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lynx Augustus Named WNBA All-Star Reserve



MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The WNBA tonight announced Seimone Augustus was voted by the coaches as a reserve for the 2017 Western Conference All-Star team. Augustus will be making her seventh career All-Star appearance (2006, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015), the most selections in franchise history. She joins Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore, who were named All-Star starters last Tuesday. The Lynx trio will be coached in this year’s game by head coach Cheryl Reeve, who is joined on the bench by assistants Shelley Patterson and James Wade.

This year marks the fifth time in franchise history the Lynx have had three or more representatives at the All-Star Game (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015). Minnesota joins Detroit/Tulsa/Dallas and Los Angeles as the only teams in WNBA history to have three or more players as All-Stars five times (Houston-4, New York-4, Orlando/Connecticut-4, Sacramento-3) The Seattle Storm will host the Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 at KeyArena on Saturday, July 22, and the game will be nationally televised by ABC at 2:30 p.m. CT.

At the season's midpoint, the 12th year pro out of Louisiana State University is shooting career-high percentages from the field (52.2%, ninth in the WNBA) and from three-point range (46.7%, second), and is also averaging a career-best 3.3 apg (18th). Augustus led the Lynx with a season-high 19 points July 14 at Phoenix and dealt out nine assists June 11 at Dallas, her top total since 2008.

Joining Augustus as backcourt reserves are Dallas’ Skylar Diggins-Smith and Chelsea Gray of the Los Angeles Sparks while Nneka Ogwumike of Los Angeles, Brittney Griner of the Mercury and Breanna Stewart of Seattle were voted in as frontcourt reserves. For the Eastern Conference, Layshia Clarendon of the Dream and Allie Quigley of Chicago will serve as backcourt reserves. Stefanie Dolson of the Sky, Candice Dupree of Indiana, Alyssa Thomas of the Sun and Elizabeth Williams of Atlanta were voted in as frontcourt reserves. In selecting the reserves, the 12 WNBA head coaches voted for six players within their own conference: two backcourt players, three frontcourt players, and a player from either position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. 

Alongside Fowles and Moore, starters for the Western Conference include Seattle’s Sue Bird, Los Angeles’ Candace Parker and Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi. The Eastern Conference starters are New York’s Tina Charles, Washington’s Elena Delle Donne, Atlanta’s Tiffany Hayes and Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones and Jasmine Thomas.

Eastern Conference Reserves:
Layshia Clarendon, Backcourt (Atlanta)
Stefanie Dolson, Frontcourt (Chicago)
Candice Dupree, Frontcourt (Indiana)
Allie Quigley, Backcourt (Chicago)
Alyssa Thomas, Frontcourt (Connecticut)
Elizabeth Williams, Frontcourt (Atlanta)

Western Conference Reserves:

Seimone Augustus, Backcourt (Minnesota)
Skylar Diggins-Smith, Backcourt (Dallas)
Chelsea Gray, Backcourt (Los Angeles)
Brittney Griner, Frontcourt (Phoenix)
Nneka Ogwumike, Frontcourt (Los Angeles
Breanna Stewart, Frontcourt (Seattle)

Wednesday’s game vs. Dallas is the annual “Day Game” presented by Delta Dental, with over 13,000 day campers and fans from across the state invading Xcel Energy Center. Kids will be participating in on-court contests throughout the game, which tips off at 12 noon. Tickets are still available by calling 612-673-8400 or by visiting lynxbasketball.com/tickets.

Moore to Represent Lynx in WNBA Three-Point Contest



MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL –The WNBA announced this afternoon that Maya Moore will take part in the WNBA Three-Point Contest at Verizon WNBA All-Star 2017 as the contest returns to All-Star festivities for the first time in eight years. Moore is the first Lynx player to take part in the three-point contest, which was previously held in 2006, 2007 and 2009. She will compete against Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Allie Quigley (Chicago Sky), Sugar Rodgers (New York Liberty) and Jasmine Thomas (Connecticut Sun).

Since entering the WNBA in 2011, Moore has made more three-pointers (432) than any other player in the league. She is shooting at a career-clip of 38.4% from deep and ranks fourth all-time in three-point shooting percentage. Through 17 games this season, Moore leads the Lynx with 33 three-pointers made and is shooting at 40.2% from long range. Since the beginning of June, she is shooting 48.9% (23-for-47) from three.

In her seventh year out of the University of Connecticut, Moore is averaging 15.2 points, on 39.9% shooting from the field, 5.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists. She ranks 13th in assists (3.9 apg) and fifth in steals (1.65 spg). Moore will be making her fifth All-Star appearance and has started in all five. She was named the 2015 All-Star MVP after tallying 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including hitting six three pointers, and adding six rebounds and five assists.

The WNBA, in partnership with the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA), will add a new element to reflect the players’ work off the court as leaders on social issues and their active engagement with philanthropic efforts. For the first time, $10,000 will be donated to a charity of the winner’s choice in support of her work in the community. Moore’s charity of choice will be Win With Justice, a program of the Social Impact Fund.

Wednesday’s game vs. Dallas is the annual “Day Game” presented by Delta Dental, with over 13,000 day campers and fans from across the state invading Xcel Energy Center. Kids will be participating in on-court contests throughout the game, which tips off at 12 noon. Tickets are still available by calling 612-673-8400 or by visiting lynxbasketball.com/tickets.

NDSU Alum Werner Signs Pro Contract



FARGO, N.D. -- Former North Dakota State men’s basketball player Dexter Werner has signed a contract to begin his professional career in Germany.

Werner, a 6-foot-6 forward from Bismarck, N.D., signed with SSV Lokomotive Bernau in Germany’s ProB division.

The German ProB season typically lasts from late September until April. Bernau finished with the top record in the league last season.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to represent my home state of North Dakota as a professional athlete,” said Werner. “I want to thank God, my family and friends, and all my coaches for the support throughout my amateur basketball career. I look forward to this first step in my professional career, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”

Werner earned second-team All-Summit League honors for his senior season and was a two-time winner of the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. He averaged 9.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.0 block per game over his final three seasons at NDSU, shooting better than 54 percent for his career. Werner posted single-game highs of 30 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks.

“We have, at first glance, gotten an unorthodox player. But at second glance, he is a very effective player that brings calmness and security to the court,” said Lokomotive Bernau head coach Rene Schilling. “He is a team player that feels comfortable on offense and defense around the rim. These abilities fit to our style and will help us be successful.”

The Bison went 88-41 overall in Werner’s career, with appearances in three Summit League Tournament championship games, two Summit League Tournament titles, two regular season league titles, and two NCAA Tournament appearances.