Rutgers will be well represented in Wednesday night’s WNBA All-Star game at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kahleah Copper and Betnijah Laney were teammates on the banks almost a decade ago and will be making the first appearance of their careers in the league’s annual showcase event. This year’s game will feature the league’s All-Star team against the U.S. women’s national team to help prepare them for the Tokyo Olympics beginning later this month.
The members of the USA basketball team were automatic All-Star selections. Laney and Copper were selected by the league’s coaches from a pool voted on by fans, media and the players. The former Scarlet Knights have been teammates since their AAU days prior to coming to Rutgers, so Wednesday night will be a welcomed reunion. The pair helped lead RU to the 2014 WNIT title. Both players joked in their All-Star media interviews on Tuesday that they both initially thought the league was calling them about outstanding fines instead of inviting them to the game.
Copper leads the Chicago Sky with 13.8 points per game and is also averaging. 4.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.0 steal in 32.3 minutes per contest. She has started all 20 games for the Sky this season and is shooting 43.3% from the floor, 30.8% from three-point range and 89.6% from the foul line. The former All-Big Ten First Team selection is the 4th all-time scorer in Rutgers history with 1,872 points and 10th all-time with 769 rebounds.
Laney leads the New York Liberty with 19.0 points per game while also averaging 5.0 assists, 4.1 rebounds in 33.4 minutes per contest. She has started all 21 games this season and is shooting 48.5% from the floor, 31.6% from three-point range and 77.9% from the charity stripe. She is having her best professional season after bouncing around the league before winning the WNBA’s Most Improved Player Award last season with the Atlanta Dream. Laney is 16th all-time at Rutgers with 1,401 points and 6th all-time with 912 rebounds. For a great profile on her professional journey, click here.
Copper and Laney are the 15th and 16th WNBA All-Star selections in program history. The all-time leader is Rutgers legend Cappie Pondexter with seven appearances.
The All-Star Game will air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. and can be streamed on ESPN.com and the ESPN app, as well as fuboTV.