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Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese battled in college, pros. Now they will team up as WNBA All-Stars

Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark, left, and Chicago Sky's Angel Reese are shown in a close-up split image.

Their college matchups were legendary.

Their WNBA matchups have been ratings juggernauts.

Later this month, though, Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever and Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky will be teammates for the first time.

The two rookies are among the players selected as WNBA All-Stars through a combination of fan, player, media and coach voting. The All-Star Game on July 19 at Footprint Center in Phoenix will pit Team USA — the national squad that will represent the U.S. at the Paris Olympic Games weeks later — against Team WNBA, which is made up of All-Stars who are not on the Olympic team.

Read more: Plaschke: Caitlin Clark cut from the Olympics? This snub stinks

Clark and Reese fall into the latter category. Following the Fever's 88-69 loss to the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday night, Clark was asked about what it might be like playing on the same team with a longtime rival.

“I know people will be really excited about it, but I hope it doesn't take away from everyone else,” said Clark, whose 7.1 assists per game rank third in the league. “This is a huge accomplishment for everybody on Team USA and everyone on Team WNBA. They all deserve the same praise. I don't want it to take away from any of that and be the focal point of All-Star weekend because that's not fair to them."

Reese wiped away tears as she spoke about her All-Star selection following the Sky's 85-77 win over the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday.

They just told me I’m an All-Star, and I’m just so happy," said Reese, who leads the league in rebounds per game (11.8). "I know the work I’ve put in. Coming into this league, so many people doubted me and didn’t think my game would translate and I wouldn’t be the player I was in college ... or wouldn’t be where I am right now. But I trusted the process and I believed and I’m thankful I dropped to No. 7 [in the WNBA draft] and was able to come to Chicago. It’s just a blessing.”

Read more: Is Caitlin Clark behind WNBA's new popularity? Angel Reese says it's more than 'just one person'

Both players finished in the top five in fan voting — Clark was first with 700,735 votes and Reese fifth with 381,518 votes. In between them were Clark's Indiana teammate and 2023 Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston (618,660 votes), 2022 league most valuable player A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces (607,300) and reigning league MVP Breanna Stewart of the New York Liberty (424,135).

Those numbers are staggering compared to last year, when Wilson led all players in fan votes with 95,860. The league's surge in popularity has been largely attributed to all-time NCAA scoring leader Clark, which has been a sore spot for some in the WNBA, including Reese.

Clark's omission from the Olympic team was considered a snub by some. Now she has a shot to show that squad what they're missing.

Team USA consists of four Aces — Wilson, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young — as well as Minnesota's Napheesa Collier, Phoenix's Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi, New York's Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu, Seattle's Jewell Loyd and Connecticut's Alyssa Thomas.

Read more: 'Reality check': Caitlin Clark 1, Diana Taurasi 0. Rookie's near triple-double wins over GOAT

Sparks veteran Dearica Hamby, who will be representing the U.S. in Paris on the 3x3 basketball team, was selected for her third All-Star Game and will play for Team WNBA. That team is rounded out by Connecticut's DeWanna Bonner and Brionna Jones, Indiana's Boston and Kelsey Mitchell, Atlanta's Allisha Gray, New York's Jonquei Jones, Minnesota's Kayla McBride, Dallas' Arike Ogunbowale and Seattle's Nneka Ogwumike.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.