The New York Liberty shared their training camp roster Friday afternoon on the team website. Designated core player and 2017 All-WNBA selection Tina Charles returns along with 10 other players from last year’s 22-12 team. Eight camp invitees and one two-time All-Star will join the team’s three 2018 draft selections — Kia Nurse (10th overall), Mercedes Russell (22nd overall), Leslie Robinson (34th overall) — in competing for a spot in the league.
Update: the Liberty signed Marissa Coleman on Tuesday, and the nine-year veteran was in town that day to begin practicing with the team. Coleman was waived by the Indiana Fever last week.
Charles, Kia Vaughn, Bria Hartley, Epiphanny Prince and Shavonte Zellous were the starters in the 2017 playoffs and during the team’s 10-game winning streak to close the regular season.
Kiah Stokes, Rebecca Allen, Lindsay Allen, Amanda Zahui B and 2017 All-Star Sugar Rodgers each contributed off the bench during that late season surge. Brittany Boyd enters her fourth season after suffering a torn Achilles in the second game of the 2017 regular season.
Hartley (restricted free agent), Vaughn (unrestricted free agent), Rebecca Allen (reserved player) and Lindsay Allen (reserved player) re-signed with the Liberty back in February.
Also on that list of 23 players is Shoni Schimmel. The two-time WNBA All-Star and 2014 All-Star game MVP logged just 77 minutes in 2016 with the Liberty, and did not play in the league in 2017. She said in a team release last year that she’d miss the 2017 season to “deal with some personal issues.”
Longtime fans of the league need no reminder of the impact her shooting ability had on opposing defenses. The shooting display she put on at the 2014 All-Star game will never be forgotten:
Shay Murphy, Rachel Hollivay, Tashia Brown, Roshunda Johnson and Kolby Morgan were added to the team’s training camp roster last week. Reshanda Gray, Jillian Alleyne and Kelly Faris will also be in camp hoping to impress coaches and general managers around the league enough to catch on with a WNBA team.
Nurse plus 11 returning players puts the roster count already at 12 for first year head coach Katie Smith. New York’s roster could be one of the tougher ones to crack. Regardless, those players will get valuable reps in camp and in the preseason.
Per the release, eight players (Zellous, Vaughn, Hartley, R. Allen, Prince, Rodgers, Zahui B, Stokes) will be absent for the start of camp as they wrap up their seasons overseas.
The Liberty will play their two preseason games at the Mohegan Sun Arena against the Dallas Wings (May 7, 5 PM ET) and Los Angeles Sparks (May 8, 5 PM ET).