VIDEO: New York Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb, along with players Kylee Shook, Jocelyn Willoughby and Head Coach Walt Hopkins share these thoughts from 7/23
Let the quest for the next Queens of the Court begin as the New York Liberty are one of many WNBA teams set to take the court in resuming the 2020 Season on Saturday, as the ladies will start League Play against the always tough Seattle Storm.
Here are some notes to get the fans ready for the opening game:
Youth Will Be Served
The New York Liberty, who currently have a total of seven rookies, six of whom are active for opening day, have the youngest roster in the WNBA with an average of age of 24.12. The Seattle Storm currently have the league’s most seasoned (oldest) average roster age with 29.
Veterans will lead the way for Seattle
The Seattle Storm will be returning two of their perennial starters to the starting lineup in Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird. In 2019, with a short-handed roster, the Storm recorded an 18-16 finish which slotted them third in the Western Conference. Seattle advanced to the second round of the WNBA playoffs where they were eventually bested by the Los Angeles Sparks on September 15, 92-69.
Liberty Milestone Moments
Amanda Zahui B – Approaching 100 WNBA career blocks. She finished the season with 92. Zahui also has 764 career points and 449 rebounds.
Kia Nurse – Currently sits at 775 total career points.
Layshia Clarendon- Approaching 200 career games played. They are currently at 198.
Kiah Stokes- Has 163 career blocks and is the franchise leader and single-game leader in blocks (8, vs. Connecticut 07/16/15)
UConn Represented in Liberty versus Storm Game
Saturday’s matchup will feature a total of five University of Connecticut alumnae (on the floor), several of whom who’ve played on Geno Auriemma at the same time. Megan Walker, although not active for opening day, rounds out this list for a total of six former UConn Huskies across both 2020 rosters.
Sue Bird ‘02, Kiah Stokes ‘15, Morgan Tuck ‘16, Breanna Stewart ‘16, Kia Nurse ‘18, Megan Walker ‘20
2020 Draft a Historical One for Libety
For the first time in franchise history, New York held the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft. The team selected college basketball’s most decorated player, Sabrina Ionescu. In trading Tina Charles, the team’s franchise player of the last six seasons, New York acquired a franchise-record amount of draft picks in a three-team deal with the Washington Mystics and Dallas Wings. Going into draft night, the Liberty held the 1, 9, 12, 13, 15 and 26 picks.
After selecting Ionescu, the Liberty continued to win big in the 2020 WNBA Draft. In all, the Liberty snagged 4 of the top 12 draft picks, made six selections overall, and will open training camp with seven rookies on its 12-player roster. Joining Ionescu in New York’s rookie revival are first-round selections Megan Walker (No. 9 pick), Jocelyn Willoughby (the No. 10 pick by Phoenix, who was then obtained by New York in a draft day trade), and Louisville’s Jazmine Jones (No. 12). The Liberty also opens training camp with two rookies they snagged in the second-round – Kylee Shook (No. 13) and Leaonna Odom (No. 15) – and Joyner Holmes, the No. 19 pick by Seattle who was later waived and signed by the New York
Meet Sabrina Ionescu First Overall Selection for the Liberty
With its first-ever No.1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft, the New York Liberty selected Oregon guard, Sabrina Ionescu, on April 17. Ionescu will make the move from Eugene to Brooklyn after putting together one of the most decorated careers in college basketball history. The Walnut Creek, Calif. product finished her Oregon career with 2,562 points, 1,040 rebounds and 1,091 assists, making her the only player in NCAA history—male or female—with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists.
It all begins for the New York Liberty on Saturday as they take on the Seattle Storm. For fans interested in watching the game can do so on ESPN.
To find out more about the New York Liberty fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: