With the Liberty’s home opener vs. the Connecticut Sun looming Saturday night, the WNBA team’s roster appears set.
The Libs announced Monday that Kylee Shook, a 6’5” center, will sit out the 2022 season for personal reasons, bringing the New York roster to the league maximum of 12. Shook averaged five points, 3.5 rebounds, one assist and 17.1 minutes through her first 50 career games.
Two rookies, Nyara Sabally and Sika Kone, are already on the sidelines for the upcoming season. Sabally is rehabbing a knee injury while Kone will play overseas. Their rights have been suspended as have Shook’s.
Shook’s decision means that A.D. Durr, the 5’10” guard who missed the last two years while recovering from long-haul COVID; Lorela Cubaj, the 6’4” rookie forward out of Georgia Tech; and 6’10” center Han Xu who spent the last two seasons in China, will all be on the 2022 roster, barring any last minute changes. Also, Jocelyn Willoughby, the high-scoring 6’0” forward from East Orange, NJ, is also back for the Liberty. Willoughby missed last season with an Achilles tear,
The Liberty will presumably have to clear another roster spot when Rebecca Allen, the 6’2” Australian guard, returns from Spain. Further along in the season, 5’10” guard Marine Johannes could return from France.
“I have the utmost respect for Kylee. I know that she did not come to this decision easily and while she loves her teammates, the New York Liberty organization, as well as our fans, basketball needs to be secondary for her right now,” said Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb. “We all have our own journey and this decision is part of Kylee’s and we support her 100 percent.”
Also, on Tuesday, the Liberty announced Sabally, the Liberty’s No. 5 selection in the 2022 WNBA Draft, underwent a successful Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation (OCA) on her right knee today at Hospital for Special Surgery.
The procedure, which was expected at the time of the Draft, was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III, the team’s orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery. Williams is an expert in OCA surgery, having performed more than 3,000 of them. OCA uses healthy tissue from a cadaver donor to repair a cartilage injury or defect.
The Liberty have high hopes for the season under new head coach Sandy Brondello, who took the Phoenix Mercury to the WNBA Finals last season.