The 2019 WNBA All-Star Weekend kicked off on July 26 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas where Sparks 2019 All-Stars Nneka Ogwumike and Chelsea Gray showed out to represent Los Angeles. Other All-Stars included Liz Cambage, Brittney Griner, Sylvia Fowles, Allie Quigley and captains Elena Delle Donne and A’ja Wilson
All-Star events began Friday afternoon with a 3-point contest and skills competition. In her third straight All-Star appearance, Gray competed in the 3-point contest on Friday and scored eight points in the first round. Las Vegas’ Kayla McBride and Connecticut’s Shekinna Stricklen faced off in the finals where Stricklen edged McBride 23-22. The competition closed with a skills challenge that included ball handling, passing, agility and 3-point shooting, and Chicago’s Diamond DeShields defeated Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones in the final round. Stricklen and DeShields each won $10,000 for their respective charities of choice.
Friday night also featured an orange carpet event before the 2019 WNBA All-Star Welcome Reception where players showed off their ‘fits and personalities while posing for pictures. The Sparks’ Chiney Ogwumike, who joined LaChina Robinson and Pam Ward to call the game, walked with her sister and teammate Nneka Ogwumike on the carpet. ESPN reporter Holly Rowe hosted the Welcome Reception exclusively for players and executives before DJ Liz Cambage performed with Snoop Dogg and Iggy Azalea at a beach concert and party at Mandalay Bay.
On Saturday afternoon, Team Wilson narrowly defeated Team Delle Donne 129-126 in the All-Star Game. Team Wilson kept a steady lead throughout the game, but Nneka Ogwumike led Team Delle Donne with 22 points on 73.3 percent shooting to keep the contest close in her sixth All-Star game. Gray’s game-high 10 assists helped Team Wilson hit an All-Star record 21 threes.
Even the crowd was star-studded, with Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Megan Rapinoe, Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird on the sideline to witness the most combined points scored in All-Star history.
The 2019 All-Star Game aired on ABC and ended emotionally when Indiana’s Erica Wheeler earned the MVP award after going undrafted in 2013, and she credited the honors to her late mother.
The Las Vegas Aces hosted the weekend’s events that included a weekend-long Fan Fest for the public with activities for all ages and booths from league sponsors such as AT&T, Pepsi and Bud Light. The city was an electric host for the weekend with its flashy parties and big billboards to hype up the game along The Strip. 2019 marked the first time the league held a skills challenge and two days of All-Star competition.