The Atlanta Dream's Angel McCoughtry (35) will be among the players expected to compete in the WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday. (Joe Faroni/ESPN)
The Atlanta Dream’s Angel McCoughtry (with the ball) will be among the players expected to compete in the WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday. (Joe Faroni/ESPN)

ABC will have extensive in-game access during the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game 2013 when the league’s top players convene at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET). Ryan Ruocco will have the call of the game with analyst Rebecca Lobo and reporter Holly Rowe.

Coordinating producer Mandy Cohen and Rowe will have to work in sync to capitalize on the access the WNBA is providing ABC, including Rowe being allowed to conduct interviews with the Eastern and Western Conference benches in-game. Cohen will also have to work in shots from the Ref-Cam, the on-court camera and live microphones on the coaches and select players.

“ESPN is incredibly open to new elements that enhance the overall viewing experience for WNBA fans,” said Laurel J. Richie, WNBA President. “We are excited to be at the forefront of delivering unique perspectives on the game to our viewers and look forward to unveiling a series of new initiatives in partnership with ESPN.”

Cohen and Rowe told Front Row how they will bring viewers even closer to the action.

How do you work in tandem to put on the best telecast possible?
HR: My job is to help be eyes and ears on the floor to supplement what the producer can see through the camera angles seen in the truck. We work well together to give fans the quickest information possible as the game happens.
MC: Holly and I will prioritize pregame who to speak to based on storylines, careers and season impact to name a few, and then readjust as the game presents itself.

What are your expectations for the telecast and access to the bench?
MC: Access to the bench will allow us to bring real-time reactions to the fan at home. We can also take more time to showcase players’ unique personalities by spending time with them on the bench.

What makes the access unique?
MC: This is the first time we will have unfettered access to active players on the bench as the action occurs.
HR: The WNBA is willing to do whatever it takes to promote the great athletes, and many new ideas have been implemented this season to give a new and interesting look at WNBA hoops.

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