Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner, centre, could play in the WNBA All-Star game in Phoenix next year before heading to Paris for the Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Next year’s Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star Game is set to be staged in Phoenix before the United States team heads to Paris for the Olympic Games.

Phoenix Mercury has been announced as the host of the annual exhibition match in 2024.

It is expected to act as a warm-up for those selected to represent the US at the Olympics.

The 2021 edition saw the national side take on a team of WNBA stars before heading to Tokyo 2020 where they retained the Olympic title.

"It’s challenging because it’s an Olympic year, but I was adamant that we needed to have an All-Star Game because the players need to say they are an All-Star in that Olympic year," said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi are both members of Phoenix Mercury and will be hoping to be part of the US team.

Taurasi will be 42-years-old when the Games take place and will be seeking a sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal having claimed gold at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Griner, a gold medallist at the past two Games, has claimed that she will only play abroad again except for an Olympics after being detained in Russia for 10 months last year.

She was handed a nine-year prison sentence in Russia in August 2022 after cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage at a Moscow airport in February, just one week before the invasion of Ukraine.

Diana Taurasi, right, is seeking to win a sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal at Paris 2024 at the age of 42 ©Getty Images
Diana Taurasi, right, is seeking to win a sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal at Paris 2024 at the age of 42 ©Getty Images

Engelbert claimed the potential inclusion of Taurasi and Griner in the US team was not a reason for giving Phoenix the 2024 WNBA All-Star Game.

"Those weren’t factors, but those are nice to have as part of the storyline next year with it being an Olympic year," she said.

"We'll be talking to different cities [for 2025], but we have a good idea because we already had seen the interest from this year's bids.

"We have a great footprint [in 2025] because there's no FIBA World Cup and no Olympics."

This year’s WNBA All-Star Game was staged at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas last week when Team Stewart, named after Breanna Stewart of the New York Liberty, beat Team Wilson, starring Las Vegas Aces player A’Ja Wilson, 143-127.