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ORLANDO, Fla. -- All-Star weekend isn't just a time for the big boys of the NBA to have fun. The women of the WNBA are also involved in tons of activities during the three-day party. Lindsey Harding of the Atlanta Dream will have a jam-packed weekend in Orlando, where she is defending her Shooting Stars title on Saturday night.
Audiences will get to see her compete for about 30 minutes, but what they won't see are all the appearances she will make, the community service events she'll attend, her meeting up with old friends and the half marathon she will run at Walt Disney World.
"I love All-Star weekend because it's the time when I get to see all my NBA and WNBA family and also help out in the community," Harding said. "I'm also always excited to see former Duke Blue Devils. And I coached a celebrity game in Atlanta for Dwight Howard, so I'm excited to see him too."
The NBA has Harding participating in a whirlwind of events, making it seem as if there's not enough time to do everything she wants. Here's what her schedule looks like.
2-3 p.m.: Speak on a panel at Duke University.
6:45 p.m.: Board a plane to Orlando (connect in Atlanta).
11:30 p.m.: Land in Orlando. "Late flights like these during All-Star require me to get my sleep. It's an exciting weekend, and I'm going to need all the energy I can get."
Noon: Pick up race packet at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports. "I decided to do this race because it sounded like fun and it was the same time as All-Star weekend, so I figured, Why not?"
|In the goofiest part of her weekend, Lindsey Harding will run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon dressed as Minnie Mouse.|
6 p.m.: Head to the Amway Center for All-Star Saturday night events.
8 p.m.: Defend Shooting Stars title alongside former NBA player Steve Smith. "I heard our competition, Cappie Pondexter and Allan Houston, were talking trash on Twitter about beating us. If that's what they have to do to make themselves feel better, that's fine. I'm not a trash-talker, though. I let my game do the talking. Then I point my finger in your face when I win."
10 p.m.: Attend commissioner David Stern's reception at the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge in the Amway Center.
4 a.m.: Wake-up call.
5:45 a.m.: Start the Disney Princess Half Marathon dressed as Minnie Mouse. "My friends and I are running in little onesies with polka dots on them and tutus. I'll be wearing Minnie Mouse ears too. I think I'll bring a change of clothes just in case the outfit starts to bother me when I run."
7:45 a.m.: Estimated race finish. "The Disney Half Marathon isn't really for time. It's all about having fun and watching the princesses and other fanfare as you run. My first half-marathon time was 1:52 in Miami. So this one should be a little over, but not too much."
1-2:30 p.m.: NBA Cares Special Olympics Unity Sports Basketball Game at Jam Session. "I did a lot of things with the Special Olympics during college, so I'm really looking forward to this part of the weekend."
2:30- 3:30 p.m.: Attend Special Olympics clinic.
7 p.m.: Head to Amway Center for the NBA All-Star Game.
7:30 p.m.: Visit the Make-a-Wish suite.
8 p.m.: Visit the USA Basketball suite. "By this time I could be pretty tired, but I'll make sure to push through."
Clearly, All-Star weekend is not for the faint of heart. Harding, like most WNBA players at the event, has plenty of obligations to meet while simultaneously trying to enjoy herself.
If all goes well, Harding will leave Orlando with two pieces of hardware: a medal from the Disney Princess Half Marathon and another Shooting Stars trophy. But no matter the outcome of her events, she'll leave with a bevy of All-Star memories.