Living A Dream
Lior Klinger ,04/06/2007
Out of the 39 players chosen in the 2007 WNBA draft, we doubt there's anyone walking around with a wider smile than Shay Doron right now. Doron spent a major part of her childhood in New York, starred in local Christ the King high school, attended Liberty games and dreamed of the day she could play for her favorite team. The Liberty picked Doron with the 16th pick of the draft, and the team isn't any less excited.

Click here for's Q&A with Shay!

"I've been growing up with the New York Liberty since the league came out," Doron said last week to a local Maryland newspaper, "I wanted to be Becky Hammon ever since I was younger." Now it's time for the long time fan to become a player. "I've been watching this team since they came out, now to be part of this great team now, I'm speechless."

"The energy, the enthusiasm and the passion in which she plays the game is unmatched", said the Liberty's general manager, Carol Blazejowski, who followed Doron through out her career at Maryland. "She is a kid who looks like she's having fun playing basketball, she can score, she can defend, I have to say Shay was top 3 player at the pre draft camp, she had a terrific camp", she continued. "What really impressed me about her was her ability to guard, I think that she kept the ball in front of her better than I had anticipated. Seeing her up close like we did in Cleveland, that’s when I came away impressed", she added.

The sports headlines the following day in the Mecca of Basketball were all about Becky Hammon, and her trade to San Antonio for the #2 overall pick Jessica Davenport and a 2008 1st round pick. To understand the magnitude of the matter, you have to know a little bit of Liberty history. New York has never traded a marquee player, they just gave them up and got nothing in return. It started with Teresa Weatherspoon who left to Los Angeles in 2003, though she was at the very end of her career. In 2004 the Liberty let All Star center Tari Phillips walk out to Houston. Last season a new low was reached when the Liberty let Vickie Johnson, the team's all time leading scorer who's been in New York from day one, leave for San Antonio. Crystal Robinson soon followed in her footsteps and moved to Washington after seven seasons in NY. Hammon, who turned 30 last month, is the first veteran player the Liberty traded before her contract was up and while her trade value was still high.
Doron vs. Lindsey Harding

Hammon's trade paved Doron's way to New York. "We had her on the radar screen, but we had a pretty good backcourt," Blazejowski said. "Then, when things kind of unfolded with the Becky trade, we said 'OK, we need to see if we can fill that gap that Becky leaves with someone who can play the 1 and the 2. Shay can do that'. That's how we zeroed in on her a little quicker than we thought at #16", Blazejowski explained.

Doron hasn't had much experience playing the point guard position at Maryland, but it's something she will have to adapt to in New York. Hammon also started as a pure 2-guard, and made the transition to the 1.In the post draft teleconference, Blazejowski spoke about how she sees Doron fitting in: " I think we'll utilize her in much the same way we used Becky. We know the kid can score, we're going to use her strengths."

Liberty coach Pat Coyle noted that the team will only invite 15 players to training camp, even though they are allowed to carry 18. This means the Liberty must be happy with the players they've got. "Between Shay and Sherill Baker we have some real flexibility to fill the hole Becky left", said Coyle. "We feel pretty strongly about Shay to take her with the 16th pick. I think this year at Maryland, she sacrificed some of her game because of the people she had around her. She has a terrific amount of passion and energy, great scoring ability, perimeter and also getting to the lane and she is just hard nose in her style and her defense".

Latest stories

©All rights reserved