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Elena Delle Donne leading vote-getter for WNBA All-Star Game

For the second time in her young pro career, Chicago's Elena Delle Donne was the leading vote-getter in the WNBA All-Star balloting.

Now Delle Donne hopes she'll be able to play for the first time in the league's All-Star Game.

"I definitely look forward to playing next weekend," Delle Donne said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. "It feels amazing and is an incredible honor that the fans voted for me. Unfortunately, I've had to miss the last two All-Star Games."

Delle Donne, the Sky guard/forward, led the WNBA in votes during her rookie season of 2013, too, but couldn't play in the game because of a concussion.

Last year, she was the top vote-getter in the Eastern Conference but had to sit out the game while dealing with a flare-up of the aftereffects of Lyme disease.

This season, Delle Donne is leading the league in scoring at 25.8 points per game for the 8-5 Sky, and she was announced Tuesday night as one of the 10 starters for the All-Star contest at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on July 25 (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET).

Joining Delle Donne in the Eastern Conference starting lineup are Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, who was selected for a record 10th time; New York center Tina Charles; Atlanta guard/forward Angel McCoughtry; and Atlanta guard Shoni Schimmel.

"To become a starter, that means people voted and recognize your game and what you do for your team," Charles said. "It's who you are as a person and how you are to the community. The fact that I'm named an All-Star starter again I think it's pretty great."

Schimmel was the All-Star MVP last season as a rookie, but she has been limited to a reserve role so far this year for the Dream. She is averaging just 4.2 points in 14.4 minutes per game. The fans, though, still voted her in as a starter.

For the West, the top vote-getters were Tulsa's Skylar Diggins and Minnesota's Maya Moore, who were second and third in votes behind Delle Donne.

Moore's Lynx teammate Seimone Augustus also will start, as will Phoenix teammates Brittney Griner and Candice Dupree.

Diggins was lost for the season because of an ACL injury she suffered in late June.

Griner missed the first seven games of the season while serving a domestic violence suspension.

"It is a huge honor to be voted on by the fans. I thank them for their support, and it really means a lot right now," Griner said. "It will be great to be there with Candice and have Sandy (Brondello) coaching us, but we really need to get DB (DeWanna Bonner) there, too. She deserves to be there at All-Star with us."

WNBA president Laurel Richie will pick a team replacement for Diggins and any other player voted in by the fans who might not be able to play because of an injury. Then it will be up to the coaches -- Phoenix's Brondello (West) and Chicago's Pokey Chatman (East) -- to decide who will start in place of the injured player.

The 12 All-Star reserves will be chosen by the league's coaches, who will each vote for six players in their respective conferences.

The coaches will select three players from the frontcourt, two from the backcourt and one who can play both. Coaches can't vote for their own players.

The reserves will be announced during the Sparks-Mercury game July 21 (ESPN2, 11 p.m. ET).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.