LIBERTY’S 24TH SEASON KICKS OFF ON NATIONALLY TELEVISED ESPN BROADCAST
Franchise to Serve as a Platform for Important Social Issues Throughout Season
BRADENTON, FLA—July 24, 2020—The New York Liberty will tip-off its 24th season on the WNBA’s Opening Day, July 25, against the Seattle Storm at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Liberty begin the season with an exciting group of new players and coaching leadership. New York’s first-ever No.1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu will make her WNBA debut, headlining the Liberty’s roster alongside All-Star guard Kia Nurse and Swedish center Amanda Zahui B.
This year’s team has seven rookies on the roster, including six rookies drafted by the Liberty in April, three of whom were first round picks, in New York’s most successful draft in franchise history. Head Coach Walt Hopkins also begins his first year at the helm of the only WNBA team in New York.
Although the 2020 season will be played without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Liberty Loyals can catch the team in action as 16 of the team’s 22-game schedule will be televised, the most of any team in the league. During the regular season, which runs July 25 through Sept. 11, Liberty games can be watched on ESPN, CBS or CBS Sports Network. In addition, viewers in the New York tri-state area will be able to watch Liberty games on the YES Network, the official regional TV partner of the Liberty.
“This talented group is really excited to tip off the season and bring our fans some great basketball” said Hopkins. “We look forward to competing at a high level and further developing the collective identity of this franchise both on and off of the court.”
In June, the WNBA announced that IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida would be the Official Home of the 2020 WNBA season. Throughout this unique single-site format, a first in the league’s history, the New York Liberty will continue in its support for racial justice and equality with the extension of the team’s UNITY platform, which was created in 2016 in response to the police fatal shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. UNITY, a player-led initiative, provides solutions-based conversations around the issues of diversity and equality.
“The New York Liberty is proud to provide our players and fans a platform to encourage the public to speak out against inequality and social injustice” said Liberty Chief Executive Officer Keia Clarke. “Given recent events of perpetuated racism and the COVID-19 pandemic, this season is bigger than basketball, and there is no better time for New York Liberty basketball to return and inspire hope and change.”
The WNBA has re-doubled its commitment to social justice with the launch of the Social Justice Council, which was created to drive necessary conversations about race, voting rights, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and gun control amongst other important societal issues. The council will be led by, among others, Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon. As part of a league-wide initiative, Liberty players will also wear special uniforms designed to honor and demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a victim of a police shooting in Louisville, Kentucky.
To aid in the fight for Breonna Taylor and the several other black women victims of police violence, the New York Liberty will donate $25,000 to the African American Policy Fund and the #SayHerName campaign. Launched in 2014, the #SayHerName campaign aims to bring awareness to the often invisible names and stories of Black women and girls who have been victimized by police violence, and provides support to their families.
For more information and to view the Liberty’s full 2020 schedule, please visit liberty.wnba.com/schedule.