The WNBA All-Star Game will be played in Las Vegas for the first time in league history, bringing the best players together for a celebration of community and basketball.
The game, matching Team Wilson vs. Team Delle Donne, begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Mandalay Bay Events Center, but the fun started Thursday with a basketball clinic hosted by the WNBA, the All-Stars and the Aces.
Here’s what All-Star weekend involves.
In the community
The WNBA is hosting two local clinics for girls in the community. On Thursday, the league teamed with its All-Stars, Aces players and WNBA legends to host a youth basketball clinic at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center for 150 girls from local organizations. A discussion about the obstacles women face in sports also was on the agenda.
On Friday, the All-Stars will host a fitness workshop at Del Sol High School from 10-11 a.m., providing nutrition pointers for 100 local girls.
The fan experience
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, fans can visit the WNBA All-Star Fan Fest inside Mandalay Bay’s Islander Ballroom. The event will have interactive activities for fans of all ages, and league sponsors such as AT&T, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Kaiser Permanente, Jack Daniels and Bud Light will host brand activations.
Fans also can watch the All-Star practices Friday via the league’s Twitter account, Facebook page and official website. Elena Delle Donne’s team will practice from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15, and A’ja Wilson’s team follows from 1:45 to 2:30.
WNBA All-Stars will walk the Orange carpet Friday night outside of Della’s Kitchen at Delano Las Vegas.
Players are scheduled to arrive at 7:30 p.m., and the event is open to the public.
Finally, Mandalay Bay is hosting an All-Star beach party that begins at 9 p.m. Friday. DJ Liz Cambage of the Aces takes the stage with recording artists Snoop Dogg and Iggy Azalea.
For the first time since 2006, the WNBA is holding a stand-alone 3-point contest and skills challenge. Six of the league’s best 3-point shooters will compete for leaguewide supremacy beginning at 4 p.m. Friday at Mandalay Bay Events Center, and eight All-Stars will compete in an obstacle course set to test their ball-handling, passing and shooting abilities.
On Saturday, Emmy and Tony award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth will sing the national anthem, and Cirque Du Soleil will introduce the players before the game.
Recording artist Teyana Taylor will perform at halftime, and the Blue Man Group will provide additional entertainment during stoppages throughout the game.
Viva Las Vegas.
Viva the WNBA.
Who: Team Wilson vs. Team Delle Donne
What: WNBA All-Star Game
When: 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center
Radio: KWWN-AM (1100)
Tickets: Starting at $30 on axs.com