This was exactly what Lindsay Allen dreamed of. Well, almost.
Allen, the All-American point guard from Notre Dame, dreamed of the night her name would be called in the WNBA Draft. On April 13th, it was.
“I was at one of my teammate’s apartments and the TV had a slight delay,’’ Allen told MSGNetworks.com. “I started getting texts and Twitter messages with ‘Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!’ before I actually heard my name called.
“It was kind of a surreal feeling, but it was a dream come true. It’s hard to put into words. You work so hard for so long and there were so many people that helped you get here. You don’t want to let them down.’’
Allen has never been in the business of letting down herself, no less friends and family.
After starring at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C, where her teams went 110-16 in four years, and graduating with a 4.04 GPA, the 2013 Gatorade Washington D.C. High School Player of the Year chose Notre Dame over Boston College, Stanford and Virginia.
Allen started for the Irish from Day 1. She captained the 2015-16 and 2016-17 teams, leading the Irish to a 139-10 record, and earning All-America honors.
The Liberty has some need at point guard and Allen is exactly the kind of player coach Bill Laimbeer covets.
“Quality young lady, quality guard, solid leader,’’ Laimbeer said. “She has a high basketball IQ. We expect her to come into camp and work hard and compete for a roster spot. She’s a very complete player.’’
The Liberty opened camp on Sunday and Allen made a good first impression.
“Lead guards get thrown into the fire at this level,’’ Laimbeer said. “They’re going to make a lot of mistakes, which is fine early on. They’re going up against players that are bigger, faster and stronger than they’ve faced.
“She kept her composure and she shot the ball better than we had seen. There’s a lot for her to learn but we liked what we saw.’’
Laimbeer is not wasting any time in camp. The Liberty, a favorite to win the Eastern Conference for a third straight season, practiced twice on Sunday and will do so again on Monday and Tuesday.
Laimbeer wants to assess the player’s conditioning and basketball IQ. He intends to implement the team’s basic offense as well as some basic offensive sets. He wants the players to get the basic defensive schemes down.
“It will not be poetry in motion to start,’’ Laimbeer said. “What we want is, through repetition, to keep moving forward. We don’t want to have to go back and repeat things. That’s where the basketball IQ comes in.
“Let’s be honest. A lot of players are not going to make this team. The ones that can pick up what we’re doing quickly will have an advantage.’’
Allen believes she possesses those qualities. The first call she received after being drafted was from ND coach Muffet McGraw, a testament to how well respected Allen is in South Bend.
“Honestly, I couldn’t have imagined my career starting out any better,’’ Allen said. “When I first got to Notre Dame, Skylar Diggins was leaving. I didn’t know if I was good enough to replace a player of that caliber.’’
She was. Allen now gets to see if she’s good enough to be a member of the Liberty.
“I think I have a high basketball IQ,’’ Allen said. “I’m a hard worker. I’ll play any role the coaching staff asks of me. This is a dream come true. It still feels surreal. I’m going to do everything I can to make it.
“It still doesn’t seem real.’’
Laimbeer said there were no injury issues. However, five of the Liberty players that are expected to make the team remain overseas where they are playing professionally.
Epiphanny Prince, Kiah Stokes, Kia Vaughn, Zahui B and Shavonte Zellous have yet to report. The Liberty play their first preseason games of the season on May 2 against the Los Angeles Sparks and May 3 against the Chicago Sky. Both games tipoff at 5 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The regular-season opener is May 13 (3 p.m.; MSG Network) at The Garden vs the San Antonio Stars.