After an outstanding, hard-fought road victory over the Chicago Sky last week, the New York Liberty players had a few days off before returning to their training base in Westchester, N.Y. There, they had several days to practice with guard Epiphanny Prince, who has joined the team after fulfilling her commitment to the Russian national team.
“I have been excited about our energy level and how hard we’ve been practicing,” said veteran forward Swin Cash. “Obviously, having ‘Piph’ back and getting her into not only the offense, but familiar with playing with different combinations is going to take more than just a week. She’s a quick learner, and we knew what her strengths were coming into it. So it’s about putting her in a position to feel comfortable until she gets completely up to speed.”
Cash said the team’s level of play and collective effort in the Chicago game showed the players the team’s ultimate potential. The days off provided a mental and physical break, especially for players who played overseas in the offseason. Monday during practice, they scrimmaged against guys and the Liberty players were in good form.
Married just prior to the WNBA season, Cash’s husband is a native New Yorker. Although she never envisioned herself living in New York City, she’s enjoying the experience and is inspired playing at “the World’s Most Famous Arena.” Having played for Bill Laimbeer as a member of the historic, championship-winning Detroit Shock team, Cash feels comfortable as a leader with the Liberty.
“This team looks to Tanisha Wright and I as the two vets,” Cash said. “We’re going to be the voice in the locker room. We’re going to be the ones to calm people down. We’re also going to be the ones who sometimes have to say those harsh things to individuals. The great thing about our team is everyone is so open to building something great here.”
Cash won two WNBA titles with the Shock and then another with the Seattle Storm. Nothing would be sweeter than becoming the first player to win titles with three different teams.
“It would be amazing to get another ring and win it here in New York,” said Cash.
The Liberty are on the road this week. They return to Madison Square Garden for back-to-back games next Wednesday and Thursday.