Although Nyara Sabally and Sabrina Ionescu were teammates at the University of Oregon for two years, unfortunately they never got to play together as Sabally dealt with injuries her first two years of college. Now, Sabally will join Ionescu on the New York Liberty after being the Liberty’s first-round pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft.
“Sab is such an amazing point guard, such an amazing person. I saw her in practice every day, I saw her working every day on the court. So, I’m just very excited to finally share the court with her and not just in practice,” said Sabally, the younger sister of Satou Sabally of the Dallas Wings.
“It’s a bunch of…young women that I’m super, super excited to play with,” said Sabally, who grew up in Germany. “I’m just excited to also learn from them because they’re such amazing players, players that have been in the league for a few years.”
In the second round, the Liberty acquired Lorela Cubaj, a 6-foot-4 forward from Georgia Tech, thanks to a trade with the Seattle Storm. In the third round New York picked international player Sika Koné from Mali. The 19-year-old post player currently lives in Spain and taught herself English by watching TV. Liberty season begins May 7 with a home game vs. the Connecticut Sun.
While Emily Engstler will not be wearing a New York uniform this WNBA season, she will bring New York swagger to the Indiana Fever, the second of that team’s four picks in the first round. The 6-foot-1 forward grew up on Roosevelt Island, graduated from St. Francis Prep and is the first New Yorker drafted in the first round since Tina Charles and Epiphanny Prince in 2010. Engstler was visibly emotional after her selection.
“I think it all hit me at once,” said Engstler, who played her first three years of college at Syracuse and her senior year at Louisville, where she made it to the Final Four and developed new aspects of her game. “This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I’m super grateful, and I feel very blessed.”