Courtesy of the New York Liberty
NEW YORK, NY – April 13, 2017 – The New York Liberty selected Notre Dame guard Lindsay Allen (14th Overall) in the 2nd round of the 2017 WNBA Draft on Thursday night. New York also picked Florida State center Kai James (34th Overall) as their 3rd round selection.
“Lindsay Allen fits the mold of what we were looking for, a very high basketball IQ, a solid competitor, athletic, and a great example of what a good quality teammate is,” said Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer. “She is a facilitator, a guard that runs the show, possesses good leadership skills, and knows how to run a team.”
“In Kai James, we wanted to bring someone in that had size, could bang in the post and give us some strength, especially in the preseason,” Laimbeer said. “She’s working on her game all the time, has shown great improvement, and now it’s time to see if she can make the next level.”
Allen is a prolific guard that graduates as the ACC’s all-time assist leader after serving four years as the starting guard for the Fighting Irish, starting every single game over that span. Taking over as point guard at Notre Dame after the graduation of Skylar Diggins, Allen is a two-time Associated Press All-American (3rd Team in 2017, Honorable Mention in 2015) and was also a two-time First-Team All-ACC selection.
During her senior season at Notre Dame, Allen averaged 9.6 points and 7.2 assists per game and racked up 841 assists during her four-year career. She helped lead Notre Dame to a 139-10 overall record, was a three-time finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award and a 2017 semifinalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year award.
James is a 6-5 center out of Florida State that has appeared in 93 games over three seasons in Tallahassee. During the 2016-17 season with the Seminoles, she averaged 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, shooting an efficient .579 from the field.
James helped lead Florida State to a 28-7 overall record, while FSU advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament before being edged by eventual National Champion South Carolina.
After the conclusion of the draft, at the New York Liberty Draft Party, All-Star center Tina Charles announced that the Liberty was making Shamoya McKenzie the 37th pick of the 2017 WNBA Draft.
McKenzie, a talented young high school basketball player from Mount Vernon, N.Y., was tragically killed by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting while sitting in a car on New Year’s Eve. She attended her first Liberty game at Madison Square Garden last season, and aspired to one day play for her hometown team.
“It is important for the New York Liberty to continue to show up for Shamoya McKenzie, a young woman who was killed in a senseless act of violence,” said New York Liberty President Isiah Thomas. “In speaking with Shamoya’s mother Nadine, I learned it was her dream to play for the New York Liberty, and am honored we were able to make her dream come true by selecting her as a member of our team.”
The 2017 Season Opener presented by Kia Motors will be on Saturday, May 13, when the Liberty hosts the San Antonio Stars at Madison Square Garden at 3 PM. The 1st 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a rally towel courtesy of Kia.