NEW YORK, NY – January 30, 2017 – The New York Liberty has acquired center Kia Vaughn and guard Bria Hartley from the Washington Mystics in a 3-team trade that also includes the Seattle Storm, the team announced Monday.
Center Carolyn Swords has been traded from New York to Seattle, while Washington receives the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft from the Storm, and the Mystics and Storm will also swap 2017 2nd Round picks.
For the Liberty, which has posted best record in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference in consecutive seasons, the move brings home a pair of native New Yorkers, and bolsters its depth at two key positions. Vaughn, who was originally drafted by the Liberty in 2009, is a Bronx native and attended St. Michael’s Academy, just blocks away from Madison Square Garden, while Hartley hails from North Babylon, N.Y.
“This was a tough decision to make – Carolyn has been a great teammate and an exemplary member of the New York Liberty; she will do well for Seattle, and we wish her all of the best,” said Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer. “Bria Hartley has enjoyed a great deal of success as a champion on a big stage at UConn, and will enhance our guard strength. Kia Vaughn will bring toughness and experience to our front court, and she is a consummate professional basketball player.”
Vaughn was a former teammate of Liberty guard Epiphanny Prince at Rutgers University and with NYC’s Exodus Basketball club team, and is entering her 9th season, with career averages of 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. She played her first four WNBA seasons in New York, after being drafted 8th overall in 2009, and posted career-best averages of 10.1 points 6.7 rebounds per game in 2011. Last season, Vaughn appeared in all 34 games for the Mystics, averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Hartley attended North Babylon High School and the University of Connecticut, where she spent three years as a teammate of Liberty center Kiah Stokes, before being drafted 7th overall in the 2014 WNBA Draft. Also an Exodus Basketball alumnus, Hartley boasts career averages of 7.1 points and 2.4 assists per game. Last year, she scored 6.5 ppg and shot .362 from 3-point range.
2017 New York Liberty Loyal season ticket packages starting at just $360 are on sale now, and include premium benefits, an enhanced in-arena experience at Madison Square Garden, and access to exclusive events featuring Liberty players and coaches. Liberty Loyal season ticket memberships are available by calling 212-465-6080 or visiting NYLiberty.com.
The 2017 New York Liberty season tips off at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, May 13, against the San Antonio Stars.