Inaugural WNBA All-Star Game Players 1999 Season

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The WNBA held its inaugural showcase of the league’s top stars at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, then the home of the New York Liberty

Teresa Weatherspoon.

WNBA All-Star Teresa Weatherspoon waves to the crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images


Whitney Houston — yes, that Whitney Houston — sang the national anthem at center court

Whitney Houston sings the national anthem ahead of the 1999 WNBA All-Star Game.

Whitney Houston sings the national anthem ahead of the 1999 WNBA All-Star Game.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images


Then, the 23 All-Stars took the court to showcase their talent in front of a crowd more than 18,000 fans strong

The 1999 WNBA All-Stars.

The 1999 WNBA All-Stars.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images


Orlando Miracle guard Shannon Johnson contributed eight points, four rebounds, three steals, and two assists off the bench for the East during the ’99 All-Star Game

Shannon Johnson takes a shot for the Orlando Miracle.

Shannon Johnson takes a shot for the Orlando Miracle.

AP Photo/Scott Audette


The five-time WNBA All-Star retired in 2009, spent six seasons as the head coach of Coker University’s women’s basketball team, and has worked for Nike ever since

 

Yolanda Griffith — a star for the Sacramento Monarchs — recorded 10 points and five rebounds for the West

Yolanda Griffith with the Sacramento Monarchs.

Yolanda Griffith with the Sacramento Monarchs.

Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images


Since retiring from the WNBA in 2009, the 1999 WNBA MVP and eight-time WNBA All-Star has worked on women’s college basketball coaching staffs at Dartmouth, Lafayette College, the University of Albany, and Boston College

Yolanda Griffith on the bench with the Boston College Eagles.

Griffith on the bench with the Boston College Eagles.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports


Considered one of the greatest bigs in WNBA history, Griffith was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021

Yolanda Griffith is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Griffith is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


Rebecca Lobo — an iconic center for the New York Liberty — did not suit up for the East in the inaugural All-Star Game after suffering an ACL tear in the first game of the season

Rebecca Lobo with the New York Liberty.

Rebecca Lobo with the New York Liberty.

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun


The Connecticut Huskies standout was welcomed into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017

Rebecca Lobo is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Lobo is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

AP Photo/Stephan Savoia


Lobo retired from the WNBA in 2003 and has been a prominent women’s basketball color analyst and reporter for ESPN ever since

Rebecca Lobo (right) and Ryan Ruocco call the 2022 WNBA Finals for ESPN.

Lobo (right) and Ryan Ruocco call the 2022 WNBA Finals for ESPN.

David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images


Utah Starzz forward Natalie Williams scored a game-high 14 points and added eight rebounds and three assists for the West in the ’99 All-Star Game

Natalie Williams with the Utah Starzz.

Natalie Williams with the Utah Starzz.

Robert Mora/NBAE via Getty Images


Williams retired from the WNBA in 2005, but after pursuing careers outside of basketball, she found her way back to the league in 2022 when the Las Vegas Aces hired her as their general manager

Natalie Williams celebrates the Las Vegas Aces' 2022 WNBA championship victory.

Williams celebrates the Las Vegas Aces’ 2022 WNBA championship victory.

Christopher Trim/NBAE via Getty Images


Taj McWilliams-Franklin — who played forward for the Orlando Miracle — had eight points and seven rebounds for the East in her first of six WNBA All-Star appearances

Taj McWilliams.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin competes for the Orlando Miracle.

Otto Greule /Allsport


After playing for six different WNBA franchises and winning two championships, McWilliams-Franklin stepped off the hardwood for good in 2012

Taj McWilliams-Franklin celebrates winning a WNBA title with the Detroit Shock.

McWilliams-Franklin celebrates winning a WNBA title with the Detroit Shock.

AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza


McWilliams-Franklin coached several college teams and acted as interim head coach for the WNBA’s Dallas Wings before landing in her role as the WNBA’s Player Relations & Development Manager

Taj McWilliams-Franklin coaches the Dallas Wings.

McWilliams-Franklin coaches the Dallas Wings during a 2017 matchup against the Connecticut Sun.

Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Phoenix Mercury forward Jennifer Gillom contributed six points and five rebounds to the West’s All-Star Game victory

Jennifer Gillom competes for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.

Jennifer Gillom competes for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images


She retired in 2003 and went on to coach for several WNBA franchises before returning to Phoenix to coach Xavier College Preparatory High School’s varsity team

Jennifer Gillom offers instructions to her team during a game.

Gillom offers instructions to her team during a game.

AP Photo/Jessica Hill


Longtime New York Liberty shooting guard Vickie Johnson contributed six points and three assists for the East during the ’99 All-Star Game

Vickie Johnson dribbles the ball for the New York Liberty.

Vickie Johnson dribbles the ball for the New York Liberty.

Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport


Johnson has enjoyed a fruitful coaching career since retiring in 2009, and is currently the head coach of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings

Vickie Johnson.

Dallas Wings head coach Vickie Johnson.

AP Photo/Brandon Wade


Ruthie Bolton — a guard for the Sacramento Monarchs — contributed two points and three rebounds for the West

Ruthie Bolton competes for the Sacramento Monarchs.

Ruthie Bolton competes for the Sacramento Monarchs.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson


Since retiring from the WNBA in 2005, she’s coached high school teams, worked in pro sports PR, written two books, participated in the Sport Diplomacy Sports Envoy program for the U.S. Department of State, and acted as a motivational speaker

Ruthie Bolton at a March 2022 Sacramento Kings game.

Bolton waves to the crowd during a March 2022 Sacramento Kings game.

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images


Orlando Miracle guard Nykesha Sales scored six points on the night at MSG

Nykesha Sales takes a jump shot for the Orlando Miracle.

Nykesha Sales takes a jump shot for the Orlando Miracle.

REUTERS/Molly Riley MMR/GN


Following her retirement in 2007, the eight-time WNBA All-Star worked as a community liaison for the Connecticut Sun before spending six years as an assistant coach for the UCF Knights and landing with the Georgia Bulldogs in 2022

Nykesha Sales directs the team as an assistant coach for the UCF Knights.

Sales directs the team as an assistant coach for the UCF Knights.

AP Photo/Jessica Hill


Ticha Penicheiro — a Portuguese point guard for the Sacramento Monarchs — added a point and three assists for the West

Sacramento Monarchs point guard Ticha Penicheiro passes around the Sun defense.

Sacramento Monarchs point guard Ticha Penicheiro passes around a defender.

AP Photo/John Spivey


The league’s seven-time assists leader retired in 2012 as one of the greatest point guards in WNBA history and moved on to become a sports agent representing some of the league’s most prominent players

Ticha Penicheiro waves to the crowd at the 2021 WNBA Finals upon being named one of the Top 25 WNBA Greatest Players of All Time.

Penicheiro waves to the crowd at the 2021 WNBA Finals upon being named one of the Top 25 WNBA Greatest Players of All Time.

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images


Merlakia Jones — the lone 1999 WNBA All-Star from the Cleveland Rockers — had four points, three rebounds, and three assists for the East

Merlakia Jones dribbles the ball for the Cleveland Rockers.

Merlakia Jones dribbles the ball for the Cleveland Rockers.

Doug Pensinger /Allsport


The three-time All-Star retired in 2004 and moved back to her native Montgomery, where she helped lead her high school’s boys varsity team to an Alabama state championship as an assistant coach

Merlakia Jones helps coach the George Washington Carver High School boys varsity basketball team.

Jones helps coach the George Washington Carver High School boys varsity basketball team.


punavision/YouTube


Minnesota Lynx guard Tonya Edwards scored seven points for the West during the inaugural WNBA All-Star Game

Tonya Edwards drives to the basket for the Minnesota Lynx.

Tonya Edwards drives to the basket for the Minnesota Lynx.

Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images


Edwards, who retired in 2002, has coached at the high school, college, and WNBA levels, and is currently an assistant coach for the Chicago Sky

Assistant coach Tonya Edwards helps prepare the Chicago Sky for a 2022 playoff matchup.

Edwards helps prepare the Chicago Sky for a 2022 playoff matchup.

Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Sandy Brondello, a shooting guard who was the lone All-Star from the Detroit Shock, added eight points and three rebounds for the East

Sandy Brondello with the Detroit Shock.

Sandy Brondello with the Detroit Shock.

Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images


She hung up her sneakers in 2004, but quickly moved on to WNBA head coaching gigs with the San Antonio Silver Stars, Phoenix Mercury, and now the New York Liberty

New York Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello (left) and star Sabrina Ionescu talk on the sideline.

New York Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello (left) and star Sabrina Ionescu talk on the sideline.

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


She’s also the head coach of Australia’s women’s national basketball team — the Opals

Sandy Brondello coaches Australia's women's national basketball team.

Brondello coaches Australia’s women’s national basketball team.

Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports


Fellow Australian point guard Michele Timms — who played for the Phoenix Mercury — started for the West and contributed three points, four rebounds, and four assists

Michele Timms dribbles the ball for the Phoenix Mercury.

Michele Timms dribbles the ball for the Phoenix Mercury.

Robert Mora/NBAE via Getty Images


Timms retired in 2001 and, after a lengthy coaching career that included stints as an assistant on the Australian and Chinese national teams, returned to her native Australia to start the Michele Timms Basketball Academy

Michele Timms shows young players how to spin a basketball on their fingertips.

Timms shows young players how to spin a basketball on their fingertips.

Jason McCawley/2022 Getty Images


New York Liberty center Kym Hampton added five points, three rebounds, and two steals as a starter for the East

Kym Hampton takes a shot for the New York Liberty.

Kym Hampton takes a shot for the New York Liberty.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images


Hampton retired at the end of the 1999 season and has since pursued careers in modeling, acting, and singing

Kym Hampton poses on the red carpet.

Hampton poses on the red carpet.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Women In Sports Foundation


Cynthia Cooper — a Houston Comets legend and one of the greatest players in WNBA history — had seven points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the West

Cynthia Cooper celebrates a win for the Houston Comets.

Cynthia Cooper celebrates a win for the Houston Comets.

Adrees A. AAL/HB


Undoubtedly one of the greatest players in WNBA history, the nine-time WNBA All-Star went on to win four championships and earned a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018

Tina Thompson accepts her spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Thompson accepts her spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola






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