UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Stefanie Dolson enjoys being the center of attention.
But that the spotlight has found the former University of Connecticut and now second-year Washington Mystics center is humbling to her. She will represent the Eastern Conference in Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game being played at Mohegan Sun Arena.
"There are a lot of great posts in the East and I've been able to stand out a little bit," Dolson said on Friday. "I give a lot of credit to my teammates for getting me the ball and believing in me. I can only go up from here and I'm going to keep pushing to get better."
The Port Jervis, New York, native is one of six reserves picked by WNBA coaches. She'll follow onto the court the player she followed as the Huskies' center -- Tina Charles. The New York Liberty standout was voted as a starter for the East by the fans.
Dolson, a first-round pick (sixth overall) by Washington in the 2014 draft after helping UConn to four NCAA Final Four appearances and two national championships, is averaging 13.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocked shots for the Mystics. She is shooting 54.3 percent from the floor and 87.1 percent from the foul line.
As a rookie, she averaged 6.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 18.4 minutes.
"Coming into my second season I had a lot of expectations for myself," Dolson said. "It's kind of like college. As a freshman, you just play. The second year you up the ante so you expect a lot."
When Mystics incumbent center Kia Vaughn was injured during the preseason -- the former Rutgers star has played only one game as she recovers from concussion symptoms, Dolson was forced to rise to the occasion and she has responded.
Washington, under coach Mike Thibault, is 9-6 and in third place in the East behind New York (11-5) and the Chicago Sky (11-6).
"I had a tough training camp," Dolson said. "But, obviously, when Kia got hurt that was awful. But it gave me the opportunity to get more minutes in practice and I capitalized on it. And I knew that my team needed me to step up. So I'm trying to work as hard as I can and it's paid off.
"I'm more comfortable scoring one-on-one and I'm more confident in my skills. At the beginning of the season I was trying to do too much and not let the game come to me. I'm doing that more now."
One of the keys to Dolson's success is the player of Mystics' forward Emma Meesseman and how the two young players complement each other.
Meesseman joins Dolson on the East squad.
"Emma is an amazing player and an amazing person," Dolson said. "We've been getting better together and I'm happy for her that she’s here. She deserves it."
Game time Saturday is 3:30 p.m.