Mercury set to open camp; WNBA preseason tourney announced

Diana Taurasi and the Mercury open training camp Monday at US Airways Center.

Jennifer Stewart

The two-time WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury will open training camp Monday at US Airways Center in preparation for the 2014 season, which will be preceded by the first-ever WNBA preseason tournament.

The inaugural WNBA preseason tournament, announced Thursday, will feature the Mercury, Minnesota Lynx, Chicago Sky and Indiana Fever. It will tip off on Friday, May 9 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla.

In addition to the four-game tournament, a full slate of clinics, practices and autograph sessions featuring WNBA players and coaches will be conducted in conjunction with the AAU Spring Fling II girls basketball event, which also will be hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. More than 1,500 girls basketball players will be on site competing in the AAU event.

"The WNBA is thrilled to be partnering with AAU and Disney to bring young women who are learning the game and some of today’s top talent in women’s basketball to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex," said WNBA president Laurel J. Richie. "This weekend of tournaments will provide a unique opportunity to showcase the current and future talent in our sport."

The WNBA preseason tournament games tip off at 6 p.m. ET on May 9 with a battle between Eastern Conference rivals Chicago and Indiana. The Sky, who posted the best record (24-10) in the East a year ago, are led by 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne, while the 2012 WNBA champion Fever boast former league MVP Tamika Catchings. That game will be followed by a clash between the defending WNBA champion Lynx and the Mercury, winners of the WNBA championship in both 2007 and 2009, at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Lynx, who topped the Mercury in last year’s Western Conference Finals en route to the second league title in franchise history, are led by Maya Moore, MVP of the 2013 WNBA Finals, while the Mercury are powered by 2009 MVP Diana Taurasi.

The winners of the opening round of games will meet in the championship game on Sunday, May 11 at 1 p.m. ET, and will be preceded by a consolation game with the other two teams at 10:30 a.m ET.

The Mercury are scheduled to practice every day from April 28-May 7 at US Airways leading up to the preseason event. Their first regular-season game is set for Saturday, May 17 at home against the Seattle Storm.

Phoenix’s training camp roster is as follows:

  Mistie Bass F 6-3 190 12/02/1983   Duke 7
  Tiffany Bias G 5-6   05/22/1992   Oklahoma State R
24 DeWanna Bonner G-F 6-4 137 08/21/1987   Auburn 5
4 Candice Dupree F 6-2 175 08/16/1984   Temple 8
15 Briana Gilbreath G 6-0 150 08/16/1990   USC 2
21 Alexis Gray-Lawson G 5-8 180 04/21/1987   California 2
42 Brittney Griner C 6-8 199 10/18/1990   Baylor 1
  Chelsea Hopkins G 5-8   07/02/1990   San Diego State 1
14 Alexis Hornbuckle G 5-10 164 10/16/1985   Tennessee 6
10 Jasmine James G 5-9   07/29/1991   Georgia 1
  Anete Jekabsone-Zogota G 5-9 167 08/12/1983   Latvia 2
  Ewelina Kobryn C 6-4 210 05/07/1982   Poland 3
  Maggie Lucas G 5-10   11/29/1991   Penn State R
  Eshaya Murphy G 5-11 164 04/15/1985   USC 7
  Erin Phillips G 5-8 165 05/19/1985   Australia 6
  April Sykes F-G 6-0 183 07/30/1990   Rutgers 1
  Stephanie Talbot G 6-1   06/15/1994   R
3 Diana Taurasi G 6-0 163 06/11/1982   Connecticut 10
13 Penny Taylor F 6-1 165 05/24/1981   Australia 12
34 Krystal Thomas C 6-5 210 06/10/1989   Duke 3