LIVING THE DREAM - Cathi Bassford, Lauren Reynolds and Katie Bassford during their recent trip to Las Vegas for the WNBA All-Star Game and exhibition between the Australian and U.S. Women’s Olympic Women’s Basketball Teams.                                                                                  – Photo courtesy of Lauren Reynolds
LIVING THE DREAM - Cathi Bassford, Lauren Reynolds and Katie Bassford during their recent trip to Las Vegas for the WNBA All-Star Game and exhibition between the Australian and U.S. Women’s Olympic Women’s Basketball Teams. – Photo courtesy of Lauren Reynolds

The top talent in women’s basketball from around the world was in Las Vegas last week. 

So, too, were the sport’s best fans – including a contingent from La Conner. 

Cathi Bassford, Katie Bassford and Lauren Reynolds were among those who flew to Vegas for the WNBA All-Star Game and an exhibition contest between the U.S. and Australian women’s Olympic teams. 

The three are Seattle Storm season ticket holders. The team is among the most successful women’s professional hoop franchises, having won league titles in 2004, 2009, 2018 and 2020. 

“Since we’re season ticket holders,” said Reynolds, “we were able to get presale access and bought our tickets.” 

While in Las Vegas, the trio also took in a special ceremony honoring the 25th anniversary of the 1996 U.S. Women’s basketball team having won the Olympic gold medal. That American roster included iconic women’s hoops legends Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie and Rebecca Lobo. 

The La Conner fans enjoyed another highlight that was not on the official schedule. While at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino they bumped into ex-Seattle Seahawks great Marshawn Lynch, who signed autographs and posed for photos with them. 

“We each got a hat signed by Marshawn and took a couple selfies,” Reynolds said. 

As for the games, Arike Ogunbowale scored 26 points to win Most Valuable Player honors and lead Team WNBA to a 93-85 victory over Team USA in the All-Star matchup and Storm center Ezi Magbegor scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and recorded three steals for the Aussies in their 70-67 comeback win over the American Olympic women. 

“One of the best parts of the trip was to see just how far women’s professional sports has come,” Katie Bassford said afterward. “During the All-Star Game, they honored the 1996 women’s Olympic basketball team, which helped pave the way for women’s basketball. 

“There was a great turn out for both games,” she added, “and it was an amazing experience.”