New York Liberty 2016 Training Camp is presented by Blueprint for Athletes.
The New York Liberty will host the Minnesota Lynx in a preseason game on Thursday, May 5, at Levien Gymnasium on the campus of Columbia University at 7 PM. Thursday night’s contest will mark the second and final preseason game of 2016 for the Liberty.
• The Liberty made a trade on Monday, May 2, acquiring All-Star guard Shoni Schimmel from the Atlanta Dream in exchange for its 2017 second round draft pick. Schimmel, who was an All-Star in 2014 and 2015, and the MVP of the All-Star game in 2014, has career averages of 8.0 points and 3.4 assists per game, and has hit 102 3-pointers in her pair of professional seasons.
• New York lost its preseason opener to the Chicago Sky, 93-59, on Sunday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. Rookie center Adut Bulgak led all scorers and rebounders by posting a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Sugar Rodgers also scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points.
• Thursday night’s preseason game is an exclusive season ticket holder event. The Liberty are tipping off their historic 20th WNBA season by providing some of its most dedicated fans with a unique experience to watch two of the top teams in the WNBA play in an intimate environment, with several postgame activities that will allow fans in attendance to interact with the stars from both teams.
• Adut Bulgak was able to record a double-double during her first preseason action, but she actually came close to missing the game. On Friday, Bulgak traveled to Tallahassee to walk in her college graduation at Florida State. After a flight cancellation on Saturday night and another on Sunday morning, she finally arrived at the team hotel just minutes before the team departed for the game.
• With the addition of two-time WNBA All-Star Shoni Schimmel, the Liberty now boasts six players on its roster that have earned at least one All-Star appearance during their careers. Tina Charles (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015) and Swin Cash (2003, 2005, 2009, 2011) have each earned four selections, while Epiphanny Prince (2011, 2013) and Shoni Schimmel (2014, 2015) are two-time All-Stars, and Lindsey Harding (2010) and Shavonte Zellous (2013) have earned one All-Star appearance.
PLAYER TO WATCH
After missing Sunday’s preseason game against Chicago, Tina Charles will make her 2016 New York Liberty debut on Thursday night. During the offseason she played in China for the WBCA, and was named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team on April 27. Charles was a 2015 First Team All-WNBA selection after averaging 17.1 ppg and 8.5 rpg, and finished third in the league’s MVP voting.
In its preseason opener against the Chicago Sky, New York turned the ball over 20 times, which directly led to 25 points for the Sky, which had a plus-19 margin in points off turnovers in their win. When the Liberty took care of the basketball during the 2015 season, the result was almost always a victory. Last year New York was 14-3 when committing fewer turnovers and 16-4 when outscoring an opponent in points off turnovers.