NEW YORK -- Fever forward Tamika Catchings tops the East in votes and Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes leads all Western Conference players after receiving the first returns of the 2006 WNBA All-Star balloting.
Catchings, who is averaging 15.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.9 steals, maintains an overall lead over Swoopes and Nykesha Sales of the Sun.
Catchings leads all players with 27,722 votes. While Sales is second among forwards with 24,786 votes, Connecticut teammates Lindsay Whalen and Margo Dydek are the leading vote-getters at their respective positions. Whalen leads East guards with 22,100 votes and Dydek leads all East centers with 18,331 votes.
Swoopes, the 2005 WNBA MVP, is also averaging 15.7 points, along with 6.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and has tallied 26,720 votes. She is joined at the forward position by 2003 MVP Lauren Jackson of Seattle with 19,647 votes. The Storm's Sue Bird leads Western Conference guards with 23,625 and Lisa Leslie of the Sparks leads all West centers with 18,372 votes.
The 2006 WNBA All-Star Game will be played July 12 at Madison Square Garden (ESPN, 7 p.m ET).
Starters for the WNBA All-Star Game will be determined by fan balloting, which began on May 28. The nationwide first return voting results reflect fans making their All-Star selections during special in-arena balloting nights and by going online to WNBA.com. The WNBA All-Star balloting program will be conducted through June 25, and reserve players will subsequently be selected by the league's Eastern and Western conference head coaches.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST RETURNS
Forwards: Tamika Catchings (Ind) 27,722; Nykesha Sales (CT) 24,786; Taj McWilliams-Franklin (CT) 18,291; Swin Cash (Det) 13,612; Tamika Whitmore (Ind) 10,314; Delisha Milton-Jones (Was) 4,499; Candice Dupree (Chi) 3,565; Monique Currie (Cha) 3,206; Shameka Christon (NY) 2,562; Brooke Wyckoff (Chi) 2,492; Crystal Robinson (Was) 2,185; Kara Braxton (Det) 1,801; Tangela Smith (Cha) 1,796; Sheri Sam (Cha) 1,751.
Centers: Margo Dydek (CT) 18,331; Cheryl Ford (Det) 14,537; Ebony Hoffman (Ind) 8,312; Ruth Riley (Det) 8,199; Kelly Schumacher (NY) 4,313; Tammy Sutton-Brown (Cha) 2,815; Chasity Melvin (Was) 2,683.
Guards: Lindsay Whalen (CT) 22,100; Katie Douglas (CT) 19,761; Becky Hammon (NY) 14,235; Alana Beard (Was) 12,865; Anna DeForge (Ind) 9,435; Katie Smith (Det) 8,284; Deanna Nolan (Det) 7,902; Nikki Teasley (Was) 7,444; Tan White (Ind) 6,813; Sherill Baker (NY) 2,562; Stacey Dales (Chi) 2,482; Chelsea Newton (Chi) 1,883; Allison Feaster (Cha) 1,702; Elaine Powell (Chi) 1,210.
WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST RETURNS
Forwards: Sheryl Swoopes (Hou) 26,720; Lauren Jackson (Sea) 19,647; Tina Thompson (Hou) 13,141; Chamique Holdsclaw (LA) 7,838; Wendy Palmer (Sea) 5,676; Nicole Powell (Sac) 5,670 ; Svetlana Abrosimova (Min) 4,917; Sophia Young (SA) 3,358; Rebekkah Brunson (Sac) 2,955; Mwadi Mabika (LA) 2,679; Nicole Ohlde (Min) 2,084; DeMya Walker (Sac) 1,735; LaToya Thomas (SA) 1.060; Christi Thomas (LA) 1,039.
Centers: Lisa Leslie (LA) 18,372; Yolanda Griffith (Sac) 12,732; Michelle Snow (Hou) 6,933; Janell Burse (Sea) 5,796; Kamila Vodichkova (Pho) 2,794; Katie Feenstra (SA) 1,862; Vanessa Hayden (Min) 990.
Guards: Sue Bird (Sea) 23,625; Diana Taurasi (Pho) 18,708; Seimone Augustus (Min) 10,910; Dawn Staley (Hou) 8,378; Ticha Penicheiro (Sac) 7,777; Betty Lennox (Sea) 5,778; Kara Lawson (Sac) 4,417; Dominique Canty (Hou) 3,943; Cappie Pondexter (Pho) 3,900; Vickie Johnson (SA) 2,720; Temeka Johnson (LA) 2,605; Kelly Miller (Pho) 2,564; Tamecka Dixon (Hou) 2,042; Shannon Johnson (SA) 1,449.