- The Washington Times - Monday, June 30, 2003

Despite missing six games this season with a right hamstring strain, Washington Mystics forward Chamique Holdsclaw was voted as a starter for next Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

It is Holdsclaw’s fifth consecutive All-Star Game selection, but she has played in only one because of injuries. And in that one in 1999 — her rookie season — she broke a finger. It’s uncertain whether Holdsclaw will play this year because of her hamstring.

Holdsclaw sat out of the Mystics’ last two games and was unsure whether she will play in tomorrow night’s game at Sacramento. After yesterday’s practice, Holdsclaw said there is an 80 percent chance she will play in Thursday’s game in Seattle.

WNBA fans vote for the starters, and the conference’s seven coaches name the reserves, who will be announced tomorrow.

Holdsclaw, the WNBA’s leading rebounder (14.8 rebounds), was second in the Eastern Conference balloting with 83,750 votes. Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings led the conference with 112,812 votes.

Joining Catchings and Holdsclaw as starters for the East are New York Liberty center Tari Phillips, Liberty guard Teresa Weatherspoon and Charlotte Sting point guard Dawn Staley.

Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes was the top vote-getter in the league, receiving a WNBA-record 124,575 votes. Two of Swoopes’ teammates were voted as starters in the West, forward Tina Thompson and guard Cynthia Cooper. Seattle guard Sue Bird and Los Angeles center Lisa Leslie also were voted to the starting lineup.

Cooper, who is out for the season with a torn rotator cuff injury, will not participate. WNBA commissioner Val Ackerman will choose Cooper’s replacement on the West roster, and West coach Michael Cooper will select a replacement in the starting lineup for the two-time MVP.

Holdsclaw, Thompson and Weatherspoon are the only players in league history to be voted to the starting lineup in five WNBA All-Star Games.

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