WNBA All-Star Game holds special place for recently released Houston native Brittney Griner

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Sunday, July 16, 2023
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LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KTRK) -- Sin City has turned into basketball central for the weekend. The NBA Summer League is playing there, and the city is also playing host to the 2023 WNBA All-Star Game.

The video above is from ABC13's Live Streaming Channels.

The matchup will be held at the Michelob Ultra Area, which is the home of the WNBA defending champions, the Las Vegas Aces. The action on Friday featured a three-point contest and a skills showcase.

Sabrina Ionescu, starting guard for the New York Liberty, set a new record for the NBA and WNBA with 37 points in the final round of the Starry Three-Point Contest to be crowned the champion.

The fans chose forwards Breanna Stewart, Ionescu's teammate, and Las Vegas Aces' A'ja Wilson as this year's team captains. The former number-one draft picks are both making their fifth All-Star Game appearance. Wilson stacked her team with her Aces teammates. Stewart has Brittney Griner on her squad.

During last year's WNBA All-Star Game, Griner was detained in Russia following being found in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in the country.

RELATED: WNBA's Brittney Griner reportedly detained in Russia after officials found hashish oil in luggage

She said she isn't taking this game for granted this year.

"It's a great feeling to be here," she said, "I didn't think I would be at All-Star (weekend). I didn't think I would be stateside right now. Each All-Star, I've said it a couple of times. You always have some experience you take away from each one. I'm just really looking forward to it already."

Another big draw is the fan experience. People got to play ball and even meet some players like LA Sparks forward and Houston native Chiney Ogwumike.

It's all coming together to create a lot of excitement ahead of Saturday's midsummer matchup.

"I just want to see a good game. I want to see good women's basketball and support women's basketball," Kysha Heralds said.

"I just love women's basketball, and it inspires me to keep going," Taraji Strong said.

You can catch Griner and all the WNBA action here on ABC13, starting at 7:30 p.m. CT Saturday.

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