Storm stars Jewell Loyd, Nneka Ogwumike again earn WNBA All-Star spots

The Seattle Storm are sending Jewell Loyd and Nneka Ogwumike to the WNBA All-Star Game.

The 30-year-old Loyd, who is fifth in the league in scoring while averaging 20.2 points per game, will make her sixth trip to the WNBA All-Star Game. She won the game’s MVP award last year.

Storm coach Noelle Quinn often says Ogwumike breathes rarefied air in reference to the veteran forward’s regal demeanor and illustrious Hall of Fame-bound basketball career.

Ogwumike’s ninth WNBA All-Game selection puts her in a way tie with Tina Thompson for the fifth most in league history behind Sue Bird (13), Diana Taurasi (11), Brittney Griner (11) and Tamika Catchings (10).

For Ogwumike, who turned 34 on Tuesday, being selected an All-Star once again was a special birthday gift.

In her first season with the Storm, Ogwumike, who spent the previous 12 years with the Los Angeles Sparks, is averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 54% from the field and 44% on three-pointers.

Nearing the midseason, the duo has led the Storm to a 13-6 record, including 8-1 at home, and fourth place in the WNBA standings.

The rosters for the league’s July 20 WNBA All-Star Game in Phoenix were announced Tuesday night during an ESPN telecast.

This year’s 20th edition of the showcase pits the All-Stars on the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, including Loyd and top vote-getter A’ja Wilson from the Las Vegas Aces, against the remaining WNBA All-Stars highlighted by Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark.

In addition to Ogwumike and Clark, the other 10 members of the All-Star team include: DeWanna Bonner, Aliyah Boston, Allisha Gray, Dearica Hamby, Brionna Jones, Jonquel Jones, Kayla McBride, Kelsey Mitchell, Arike Ogunbowale and Angel Reese.

The 12-player USA Basketball Women’s team is comprised of Loyd, Wilson, Taurasi, Griner, Napheesa Collier, Kahleah Copper, Chelsea Gray, Sabrina Ionescu, Kelsey Plum, Breanna Stewart and Alyssa Thomas.

Previously, the WNBA All-Star Game was not held when players were competing in the Summer Olympics.