NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 14, 2016 – The New York Liberty selected center Adut Bulgak (12th overall) in the first round of the 2016 WNBA Draft on Thursday night. Additionally, New York selected guard Ameryst Alston (24th overall) in the second round, and guard/forward Shacobia Barbee (36th overall) in the third round.
“Adut gives us something we don’t have – a potential stretch four,” said Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer. “We want to be able to pick up the pace. She is a good athlete who can get out and run with Brittany Boyd, and is quietly physical for her stature.”
“This was a draft where we set out to address needs,” added Laimbeer. “We were looking for a guard and Ameryst Alston is going to compete for an opportunity to make our team. Shacobia Barbee is hurt right now, and whether or not she is able to come back this year is unknown, but we really look at her as a good player for our future.”
Bulgak is a versatile 6-4 center out of Florida State who possesses the ability to score from the perimeter. An Honorable Mention All-American in 2015, she averaged 12.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game over two seasons in Tallahassee, and also hit 54 3-pointers, shooting 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. Bulgak was named Second-Team All-ACC last season, leading the Seminoles in rebounds (259), blocked shots (34) and double-doubles (7).
Alston, a 5-9 guard, finished her four-year career at The Ohio State University as one of the most dynamic scorers in program history, finishing fourth all-time with 2,165 points and a career scoring average of 16.2 ppg. She also ranks sixth in Ohio State history with 775 field goals and seventh with 455 assists. Alston was a three-time First-Team All-Big Ten honoree, and following her senior season earned Honorable Mention Associated Press All-American accolades for the first time.
Barbee, a 5-10 guard/forward, was a First-Team All-SEC selection in 2016 despite having her season cut short due to a broken leg. She averaged 12.7 points, 9.1 rebounds 4.3 assists, and 2.3 steals per game in 27 games played. Prior to her injury, Barbee ranked in the top five in the SEC in rebounds, steals, and assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Liberty’s historic 20th WNBA season opens on Saturday, May 14, when it will travel to Washington, D.C., to face the Washington Mystics at 7 p.m. New York’s home opener at Madison Square Garden, presented by Kia Motors, will be on Sunday, May 15, against the Dallas Wings at 5 p.m.
New York Liberty single-game tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, online at NYLiberty.com, and Ticketmaster.com/NYLiberty. Season ticket packages are available by calling 212-465-6073 or by visiting NYLiberty.com.