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Tina Charles and Ariel Atkins will represent Team USA in the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game

This is the first time that the game will be held in a USA vs. All-Star format since 2010.

Connecticut Sun v Washington Mystics
Ariel Atkins is going to her first WNBA All-Star Game as a member of the USA Basketball women’s national team.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the WNBA announced the rosters for the 2021 All-Star Game. The format will be in a Team USA vs. Team WNBA format, something that hasn’t been done since the 2010 season when the USA was preparing for the FIBA World Championship for Women, now known as the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. There was also a similar format in 2004 when the USA Basketball women’s national team played a team of WNBA All-Stars in New York City.

Since Washington Mystics center Tina Charles and forward Ariel Atkins made the national team roster already, they are also named WNBA All-Stars. For Charles, this is her eighth selection to the game while this is the first-ever selection for Atkins. The Mystics do not have any players on the WNBA All-Star team, but it is notable that Kahleah Copper, Washington’s first round draft pick in 2016, did make the roster.

The rosters are below.

USA Basketball women’s national team roster

  • Ariel Atkins, Mystics
  • Sue Bird, Storm
  • Tina Charles, Mystics
  • Napheesa Collier, Lynx
  • Skylar Diggins-Smith, Mercury
  • Sylvia Fowles, Lynx
  • Chelsea Gray, Aces
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Breanna Stewart, Storm
  • Diana Taurasi, Mercury
  • A’ja Wilson, Aces

Team WNBA All-Star roster

  • DeWanna Bonner, Sun
  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Kahleah Copper, Sky
  • Dearica Hamby, Aces
  • Brionna Jones, Sun
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Betnijah Laney, Liberty
  • Arike Ogunbowale, Wings
  • Candace Parker, Sky
  • Satou Sabally, Wings
  • Courtney Vandersloot, Sky
  • Courtney Williams, Dream

There are some other things that make this game notable. First, there are eight first-time WNBA All-Stars, including Atkins and Copper. And second, the WNBA All-Star team will be coached by league legends Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson. Leslie was most recently the head coach of the Triplets BIG3 team and Thompson is the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers women’s basketball team. Usually, the WNBA All-Stars would have been coached by the best performing team to date, which would be the Seattle Storm’s Noelle Quinn. She is a one-time Mystics player as well.

The All-Star Game will be on July 14 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. ET and it can be watched on ESPN.