Now, having wrapped up her 2nd season with the New York Liberty, center Carolyn Swords has quickly become a fan favorite in New York, and one of the most reliably consistent players on the roster. After missing the entirety of the 2014 WNBA season to recover from a second knee injury, Swords signed with the Liberty prior to the 2015 campaign, found herself in a starting role midway through the season, and she has been there ever since.
Prior to suiting up for New York, Swords had started just 15 WNBA games from 2011-13, a number she surpassed just year alone (22 starts), before becoming the only Liberty player to start all 34 games in 2015. Naturally, this increased role also came with new career highs in scoring and rebounding, something she has now accomplished in consecutive seasons, highlighted by her career-best 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this past season. She posted a career-high 11 rebounds on three occasions, and nearly posted a first-career double-double in the last game of the regular season at Chicago, with a season-high 15 points with 8 rebounds.
It’s not just a matter of taking advantage of increased minutes, Swords has seen her shooting range extend outside of the paint, with increased confidence in knocking down baseline and mid-range jump shots, and she is efficient, shooting .571 from the field last year.
Swords is also known for her leadership, eagerly taking younger Liberty players under her wing, and is a role model as one of the most active WNBA players in the league in the community, resulting in her winning the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award for July, after she spoke with Girls Scouts, met with Garden of Dreams Foundation groups, and volunteered for City Harvest’s Greenmarket Rescue.
July 10 @ San Antonio
Tied her season high of 11 rebounds, hauling in 4 offensive boards, while scoring 8 points on 4-of-8 shooting
Sept. 9 at Connecticut
Filled out the stat sheet in a Liberty win, scoring 8 points with 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots
Sept. 16 at Chicago
Nearly posted her first-career double-double, leading the Liberty with 15 points and 8 rebounds
CAREER YEAR FOR CAROLYN
Carolyn Swords enjoyed a strong finish to the 2016 regular season, scoring in double figures in 2-of-3 games to close out the year while averaging 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game over that stretch. Swords was the only Liberty player to start all 34 games this season, a career-best for the 5th-year center, and also averaged career highs in scoring (5.2 ppg) and rebounding (4.6 rpg).
SWORDS POSTS UP IN THE COMMUNITY
Carolyn Swords was awarded the July WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm. During a recent Garden of Dreams event she spent time with families from the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. A former Girl Scout, she spoke to 100 local Girl Scouts and their families after a recent Liberty game about her journey from a young scout to the woman and WNBA player she is today. Swords also assisted City Harvest’s Greenmarket Rescue in Union Square, helping fill trucks with nearly 9,000 pounds of excess food from farmers to be delivered to community programs across the five boroughs. She will split her $7,500 award between the Garden of Dreams Foundation and Tina Charles’ Hopey’s Heart Foundation.
Coming off a year in which she averaged a career-best 4.0 rebounds per game, which ranked 29th in the league, Carolyn Swords improved on those numbers for 2016, as she was 28th in the league with 4.6 boards per game. She also cracked the top-30 in blocks per game for a 2nd-straight season, ranking 26th with 0.6 per contest.
After starting all 34 games at center for New York in 2016, Carolyn Swords has the longest current games started streak for the Liberty, which also includes a good stretch of the 2015 season. Dating back to last year, Swords has started 56-straight games, as she also was featured in the first five in the final 22 games of the 2015 campaign. She has played in every regular season game for New York since joining the team, appearing in all 34 games for the first time last season.