The polls are closed for 2023 WNBA All-Star voting, and the game’s starters will be announced Sunday. From there, the WNBA’s 12 head coaches will select the 12 reserves, and the two top vote-getters will serve as captains and draft their respective All-Star teams on July 8.
For the first part of the process, media members were tasked with selecting four guards and four forwards/centers on their ballots. Whoever receives the most votes will start in the All-Star Game on July 15 in Las Vegas.
Here’s how I voted.
Jackie Young, Las Vegas Aces
Young took home the Most Improved Player award last season, and so far this year, she’s been even better. Las Vegas is bursting with talent, but Young has often been the best player on the court for her team and has turned herself into one of the best guards in the league. The Notre Dame product is averaging 21 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game. She’s shooting 50% from beyond the arc, making 2.3 3-pointers per contest, and has also been aggressive on the attack and in transition.
Young has been consistent in her play since she opened the season with 23 points in a win over Seattle. Of all the guards, she was the easiest All-Star selection for me.
Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm
The Storm may be struggling, but Loyd certainly isn’t. She’s leading the WNBA with 26.2 points per game and leading Seattle with 3.7 assists per game. The 29-year-old guard is a prolific shot creator, and without Breanna Stewart in Seattle this season, she’s taken on a bigger scoring role. Last year, Loyd was one of the league’s top guards, averaging 16.3 points per game. This year, she’s increased that number by 10 points. So far, Loyd has recorded four 30-plus point games, including a career-high 39 in a 109-103 win over Dallas on June 17.
Chelsea Gray, Las Vegas Aces
Last season’s Finals MVP is picking up right where she left off. The Aces rank first in the league in scoring, and their offense starts with Gray. She leads the team and is third among all WNBA players with 6.3 assists per game. Gray can also create shots for herself, averaging 13.6 points per game. Of all those qualities, it’s the veteran’s efficient scoring that makes her stand out to me. Gray is making 51.8% of her 2-point shots, 51.2% of her 3-point shots and 92.3% of her free-throw attempts.
Allisha Gray, Atlanta Dream
After playing her first six seasons with the Dallas Wings, Gray is wasting no time establishing herself with the Dream. The guard is averaging 17.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, all of which are career-high marks. Gray is also an excellent on-ball defender, meaning she impacts nearly every aspect of the game for Atlanta.
Gray is aggressive when both driving to the rim and attacking the glass. She’s the third-best rebounder among guards in the WNBA and has recorded two double-doubles this season. This is the best season of Gray’s career, and she is certainly worthy of making her first All-Star appearance.
Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury
I expected Griner to take some time getting reacclimated to the WNBA after she returned home in December from wrongful detainment in Russia, but that was not the case. She opened the season with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field and four blocked shots. Since then, the Mercury center has been consistent on both ends of the floor. She’s averaging 20.1 points per game, which is sixth in the league, and 2.5 blocks per game, which is first.
Until getting injured in an 83-69 loss to Seattle on June 13, when she played just nine minutes and scored two points, Griner had scored at least 18 points in every appearance.
Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun
Connecticut coach Stepahnie White calls Thomas the “most underrated superstar in the WNBA.” While Thomas may fly under the radar, her impact on the court cannot be overstated.
Thomas does everything for the Sun. She averages 14.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 2.1 steals per contest, leaving her just two assists shy of averaging a triple-double for the season. She recorded the fifth triple-double of her career on June 20, with 15 rebounds, 13 points and 12 assists in an 85-79 win over the Storm. Thomas is also efficient with her decision-making, averaging just three turnovers per contest.
Satou Sabally, Dallas Wings
Injuries plagued Sabally in the first few seasons of her career, but now the Oregon product is healthy and playing her best basketball. Sabally is a versatile scorer who, at 6-foot-4, can get points from inside or outside, off a post-up or off the dribble. She’s averaging 20 points (up from 11.3 last season), 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Sabally is one of just three players in the WNBA averaging a double-double on the season. The forward should be a shoe-in All-Star selection.
Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks have battled injuries so far this season, but with different lineups nearly every night, Ogwumike has been the consistent bright spot. In her 12th season in the WNBA, Ogwumike is averaging a career-best 19.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, nearing a double-double. She is also averaging a career-high 3.6 assists per game, showing off her ability to read defenses and find open shooters. Ogwumike also has six double-doubles so far this season.
A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces
The reigning WNBA MVP has continued her dominance for the Aces, leading her team to a league leading 11-1 record so far. Wilson has led her team in either points or rebounds in 10 of those 12 games. She’s averaging 18.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest, while also making a difference on the defensive end with 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.
Wilson has been held to single-digit scoring just once this season, with eight in a win over Minnesota on June 18. But in that game, she proved her ability to impact the Aces in multiple ways, recording season-highs in rebounds (14) and blocks (four).
Breanna Stewart, New York Liberty
It’s taking the WNBA’s newest superteam time to develop chemistry, but through the growing pains, Stewart has been one of the league’s best players. In her first home game for the Liberty, Stewart recorded a double-double with 45 points and 12 rebounds, setting a new franchise record. She’s averaging a team-high 23.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.7 steals per game, while also dishing out four assists per game. Stewart is second in the WNBA in scoring and first in rebounding.
Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.