The New York Liberty made a statement off the court as they signed two-time WNBA All-Star Epiphanny Prince to a multi-year extension. In a two-year period, one very successful, one marred by injury, the Liberty saw enough to secure their star guard for the balance of her prime years.
After all, that has been the philosophy, get younger, get better, build for an extended run of success. It’s why the Liberty traded Cappie Pondexter for Prince last season. “Our expectation when we traded for Epiphanny Prince was that she would be a major contributor to our franchise for the long term,” explained Head Coach Bill Laimbeer.
The rewards were quick and plenty as Prince finished as second team All-WNBA, a personal first, while leading New York to the best record in the regular season and got to within a game of the WNBA Finals. But the flip side came when Prince tore her knee playing in the offseason for her European Club team Dynamo Kursk in the Russian Premier League. This cost her the first 26 games of the 2016 campaign. Her return on August 26th and the ensuing six games impressed the Liberty on another level. “We are happy that she worked hard to come back and return to the court and contribute this season,” Laimbeer pointed out.
But the road to achieving Prince levels is full of potholes. She had a nice 13 point performance on September 9 vs Connecticut but has missed games due to sickness and tendinitis in the knee. However with some time off that came with the first round bye, Prince may just be the X-factor of the single elimination game coming up at Madison Square Garden in round two.
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