Thursday, February 5, 2009

WNBA Roundup

In case you haven't been visiting (and, praytell, why not?), a quick roundup of several announcements around the league this week.

- The 2009 WNBA Draft will be held on Thursday, April 9. After a couple of years at the location of the Final Four (and the day after the NCAA Championship game), the draft is moving back to Secaucus, N.J. and there will be one day in between the game and the draft to allow any prospects involved to get to the league's TV studios. The Storm will be picking 12th overall in the first round and also holds the 38th pick in the third round (the penultimate selection), having traded its second-round pick to Atlanta for Camille Little (a move that looks even better in hindsight given the tough time second-rounders will have making 11-player rosters).

- The league also announced the 2009 All-Star Game will be played at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, July 25 and televised on ABC. While some teams will have an abbreviated All-Star Weekend this year, All-Star fits neatly into a five-day break for the Storm between the July 22 home date with Los Angeles and a visit to San Antonio on July 28. The timing is also nice in that the Storm will play 17 games before the All-Star break and 17 afterward.

- Speaking of July 22, it will be Lisa Leslie's last regular-season visit to KeyArena. The Sparks fixture and Storm rival announced yesterday that 2009 will be her last WNBA season. Note that I say last regular-season visit given the teams have squared off in the postseason three times in the last seven years. Los Angeles also visits on Friday, June 26.

- Lastly, the WNBA announced today that the use of replay by officials will be expanded this season to allow the league's referees to review whether shots are twos or threes and to look at the clock in the case of malfunctions at the end of quarters or games. These changes were both instituted in the NBA for the 2008-09 season.

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