As G-League call ups, New York Knicks power forward Luke Kornet and guard Troy Williams are no strangers to the Westchester County Center, home to both the New York Liberty and the New York Knicks G-League affiliate Westchester Knicks. And still, Sunday’s packed crowd in attendance to cheer on the Liberty until the final buzzer sealed a nail biting 78-75 victory over the Indiana Fever impressed the Knicks teammates. Williams, attending his first Liberty game, admired the lively atmosphere of enthusiastic fans.
Kornet showed love to the Westchester County Center for contributing to his development. The fond memories made Kornet’s return a positive one. “I had a great year [as a Westchester Knicks player]. I’m always excited to be back.”
Most exciting of all for Kornet and Williams? Witnessing the tough play on the court. “It’s competitive and everyone is playing hard,” praised Kornet. Williams agreed adding, “They put in the same work that we put in – the same blood, sweat, and tears – to get to this point.”
An intense fourth quarter included clutch playmaking on both ends of the floor – blocks, steals, big time three-pointers by Williams’ childhood friend Sugar Rogers, and game-winning shot maker Marissa Coleman.
The thrilling finish down the stretch led to a newly engaged Kornet anticipating the start of the 2018-2019 season, despite the NBA season ending less than a week ago. “Can’t wait to get back on the court, especially with the new staff we have.”
That new staff he speaks of? New head coach David Fizdale.
Williams, who played for Fizdale during his rookie season in Memphis, is excited to reunite with the two-time NBA champion coach. Williams had this to say about Fizdale’s strengths, “not only does he motivate you on the court, but he motivates you in ways that makes you mentally strong.”
Until then, when they’re not taking in Liberty games, Kornet and Williams are motivated to do whatever’s necessary to take the Knicks to the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-2013 season. While Kornet is focused on improving his shooting and training with guard Frank Ntilikina, Williams aims to build his game all around and specifically, “add more of a jumpshot and reduce turnovers.”
The New York Liberty (3-4) return to action tonight, June 13 against former head coach Bill Laimbeer and Las Vegas Aces (2-7). Watch live on ESPN3 and MSG+ at 7 p.m. ET.
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