Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe came into Liberty training camp at the start of the 2017 season looking to make her debut in the best league in the world. A 25-year old rookie with Olympic experience as a member of the Canadian National Team, as well as extensive play for some of the top women’s leagues in the world, including France and Australia, Raincock-Ekunwe made an immediate impression on Liberty players and coaches and she went on to become a key part of the Liberty’s rotation.
NAYO RAINCOCK-EKUNWE 2017 SEASON STATS
Raincock-Ekunwe appeared in 32 games and made a pair of starts, averaging 3.7 ppg and 1.8 rpg, displaying flashes of dominance while also looking like anything but a rookie. Her per 48 minute averages of 16.0 ppg and 7.7 rpg, represent an indication of what the Liberty will be looking to her for in the future.
A seasoned professional, Raincock-Ekunwe was able to shoulder a great deal of responsibility immediately, in addition to showing strength and aggressiveness in the low post. At times, it seemed like she was impossible to block out, with a vertical nearly unmatched in the WNBA as well as the ability to run the floor and glide to the basket on a pick and roll.
It was a treat for Liberty fans to watch Raincock-Ekunwe in 2017, a player not on the radar before the season began, but sure to be a key part of the future after establishing herself as a finisher around the basket and an athletic rebounder. Heading into the offseason she talked about wanted to work on her range, and really be able to play the 3 or the 4. There were times she was able to hit the mid-range jumper, but making that a regular part of her arsenal will be imperative for her growth, while also providing the Liberty with some truly lethal lineup combinations, especially when she may be paired with Tina Charles, already the most versatile power forward in the league.
NAYO RAINCOCK-EKUNWE 2017 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
June 11 vs. Seattle
Scored in double figures for the 1st time in her career, posting 10 points with 6 rebounds as the Liberty picked up a home victory over the Seattle Storm.
June 14 at Connecticut
Made it back-to-back games in double figures, posting 10 points and 4 rebounds at Connecticut. Averaged 10.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg over the 2-game stretch.
August 18 at Connecticut
Posted a season-high 12 points as the Liberty recorded a critical victory at Connecticut, getting to the line a season-best 10 times in 14 minutes of action.