Getty Images

The 2024 WNBA All-Star Game will feature Team USA vs. Team WNBA, the league announced Wednesday. This is the second time the league has used this format for an official All-Star Game, and it will serve as a send off for the USA Basketball Women's National Team ahead of the Paris Olympics. 

Last summer, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced the 2024 All-Star Game would take place in Phoenix, with the Mercury playing host for the third time in franchise history. 

"The WNBA is excited to bring AT&T WNBA All-Star back to Phoenix for the third time in our nearly three-decade history," WNBA Engelbert said at the time. "Having an inaugural WNBA franchise in the Mercury host this two-day celebration is perfect as the basketball world focuses its eyes on the WNBA and today's greatest stars."

Until Wednesday, though, details regarding the event had been sparse. Now, everything has been set, with the two-day festivities scheduled for July 19 and 20. The Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest will be back Friday, ahead of the All-Star Game on Saturday. Furthermore, the third annual WNBA Live fan festival will take over the Phoenix Convention Center on both days. 

The 12-player roster for Team USA will be announced in the summer ahead of the All-Star Game and the Olympics. The league will release information regarding the selection of Team WNBA at a later date. 

Because the WNBA plays in the summer, the league has to take a mid-season break during Olympic years. Often, that has resulted in the All-Star Game being cancelled. Engelbert, however, has made tentpole events such as the All-Star Game an emphasis, and ensured that they continue on an annual basis. 

Such was the case ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, when Team WNBA pulled off an upset victory over Team USA in the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game thanks to an MVP performance by Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale, who poured in a game-high 26 points. 

That was the first time that Team USA met Team WNBA in an official All-Star Game, but it was not the first time the concept had been tried. There were similar matchups in 2004 ahead of the Athens Olympics and again in 2010 despite the fact that that was not an Olympic summer. Both of those contests, however, were considered exhibition games. 

Overall, this is the 20th WNBA All-Star Game, and the fourth consecutive year that it will be held. That is the second-longest streak in league history, surpassed only by the five-year run from the inaugural edition in 1999 through 2003.