July 4, 2024 

Three All-Star nods show the strong foundation the Indiana Fever have

Sides: '[It] just shows the future and what that looks like'

The rosters for the 2024 WNBA All-Star Game, with Team USA taking on Team WNBA, are now set. Thanks to the fan voting, the media ballots and WNBA coaches’ picks, the Indiana Fever have three All-Stars: rookie guard Caitlin Clark, second-year forward/center Aliyah Boston and veteran guard Kelsey Mitchell. And those All-Stars give the Fever a strong base for an extremely bright future.

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Clark and Boston dominated the fan voting, finishing first and second overall. That put them in the top 10 of the overall voting. The league’s head coaches decided the rest of the roster, and they chose to put Mitchell in the game. Indiana players will occupy a quarter of Team WNBA and an eighth of the players across both Team WNBA and Team USA.

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It’s the first time the Fever have had three All-Stars since 2007, when Tamika Catchings, Tammy Sutton-Brown and Anna DeForge all made the squad. That season, Indiana finished 21-13. Two years later, the Fever reached the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Catchings and Sutton-Brown were still terrific talents in 2009.

“It’s crazy. It’s awesome to have three All-Stars for the Indiana Fever this year. So proud for them, so proud for them, so proud for our organization,” head coach Christie Sides told reporters on Tuesday night. “These guys deserve it. They’ve been working hard [and] keep getting better. [It] just shows the future and what that looks like for the Indiana Fever.”

Clark is averaging 16.0 points and 7.1 assists per game this season. Mitchell leads Indiana with 16.6 points per game while Boston adds 13.3, and Boston contributes 8.1 rebounds per game as well. They are all tremendous talents, and the Fever have their strongest base in nearly a decade.

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Indiana won 13 games in both 2019 and 2023 (Boston’s rookie season). In 2019, the team was headlined by an interesting mix of veterans and younger players, including Mitchell, Candice Dupree and Teaira McCowan. But the Fever’s winning percentage dropped in three straight seasons after that 2019 campaign.

That doesn’t project to be the case this time around. The Fever are on pace to win at least 15 games this year, which would be their most since 2016. Fittingly, that was the franchise’s last playoff berth. Indiana hopes to make it again, and having three All-Stars gives the franchise the base to eventually get there.

“I think it’s special,” Boston said. “I think it just goes to show the talent of this team.”

Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell shoots an open jump shot in front of the Connecticut Sun bench.
Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell (0) shoots during a game against the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on June 10, 2024. (Photo credit: Chris Poss | The Next)

Accolades can be noteworthy and life-changing. Mitchell is now a two-time All-Star, but it was hard for her to be left off the team two years ago. It matters to be named to Team WNBA, for her individually and for the franchise.

“[It’s a] really, really big thing for our franchise,” Mitchell said. She said it also shows what the players aspire to be as individuals: “Any great competitor has an All-Star somewhere down their list.”

Boston was a rookie All-Star last year, and Clark is one this year. That’s rare. Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese was named a 2024 All-Star, too, marking the first time in a decade that two rookies have been All-Stars in the same season, per Across The Timeline.

All three Fever All-Stars know they can get better, too. Indiana is a young group that is still finding its way and only recently started gelling.

Mitchell started the season slowly and was dealing with an ankle injury. In her last 11 games, she is averaging 18.5 points per game while shooting 49.7% from the field and 47.8% from deep. Clark has adapted her game to the WNBA after seeing different and tricky coverages early on. Boston, by her own admission, had a rough start to the season, but she’s averaging 16.6 points and 10.3 rebounds across her last 10 games.

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That trio is ready for more. They have all gotten better as the season has progressed, and now they are All-Stars. Mitchell has proven she belongs with the best of the best after years of steady improvement. Boston and Clark are two of the league’s top young talents.

“It’s fun. It’s cool, obviously, for myself to accomplish this in my rookie year,” Clark said before noting it’s big for the franchise. “Me and [Aliyah], Year 1 and Year 2 … that’s pretty exciting.”

The Indiana Fever still have to build in order to turn a roster with three All-Stars into a contender. Just ask the Atlanta Dream, which had three All-Stars in 2023 but aren’t in form this year. But having young talent provides an excellent base, and as the Fever try to grow into a contender, the 2024 All-Star Game will be a turning point toward their goals.

Written by Tony East

Indiana Fever reporter based in Indianapolis. Enjoy a good statistical-based argument.

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