New York Liberty add to training camp roster

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 7: Rachel Hollivay
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 7: Rachel Hollivay /

The New York Liberty have signed five additional players to training camp contracts. Shay Murphy and Rachel Hollivay were signed on April 10. Later in the month, New York added undrafted free agents Tashia Brown, Roshunda Johnson and Kolby Morgan into the fold. The Liberty also waived 6’2 forward Ify Ibekwe, who had signed a training camp contract with the team earlier this offseason.

Murphy, a nine-year pro, played in 26 games last season for the Phoenix Mercury and San Antonio Stars. She was sent to San Antonio in the Monique Currie trade last season along with Sophie Brunner and a 2018 third round draft pick.

Hollivay was selected with the 13th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 WNBA Draft by the Atlanta Dream. She appeared in 32 games in her rookie season, then was waived last June after logging 34 minutes in seven games. The Dream elected to open up two roster spots at that time with starting forward Sancho Lyttle set to return from EuroBasket.

Hollivay, 6’4, is the all-time leading shot blocker in Rutgers women’s basketball history. She averaged upwards of three blocks per game in two of her seasons with the Scarlet Knights.

Brown, ninth in the country in scoring this past season at 22.5 points per game, is a dynamic 6’1 scorer out of Western Kentucky. She was a three-time All-Conference USA selection and earned CUSA All-Defense honors as a senior.

Johnson is a 5’7 wing out of Mississippi State. She spent her first two seasons at Oklahoma State before transferring and contributing to two consecutive runs to the national championship game for the Bulldogs. Johnson averaged nearly 30 minutes per game for one of the top defensive teams in the nation after coming off the bench in the 2016-2017 season. She shot 41+% from beyond the arc in each of her two seasons with Mississippi State.

Morgan, 5’8, was a four-year starter for Tulane. She finished her career second all-time in career points and three-pointers made in Green Wave program history. Morgan was a four-time All-American Athletic Conference selection. She participated in the WNBA combine held in Columbus earlier this month during the Final Four. “I definitely think I have a chance to make the team,” Brown told the New Orleans Advocate.

Ibekwe also has two years of WNBA experience. She was drafted in 2011 by the Seattle Storm, then earned a roster spot out of camp with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2017 before being waived last June.

The five latest signees will join fellow invitees Kelly Faris, Jillian Alleyne and Reshanda Gray in camp later this month. The Liberty return 11 players from last year’s group. Most recently, the team re-signed designated core player Tina Charles.

In the 2018 WNBA Draft, the Liberty selected UConn guard Kia Nurse with the 10th overall pick. New York also added Tennessee center Mercedes Russell in the second round and Princeton forward Leslie Robinson in the third. You can read up on all 36 draftees in our WNBA Draft Diary.

Next: Nurse tops 2018 Liberty draft class

Though nothing is guaranteed to recent draftees in the WNBA, Nurse has been lauded leading up to the draft as someone with a pro-ready game. Nurse would occupy the 12th and final roster spot for the Liberty, meaning someone would really have to impress in training camp to force the hand of the team to move off of a player already under contract for 2018.