With the fifth pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft, the New York Liberty will have an interesting choice to make. Will they add another guard to compensate for the departure of Teresa Weatherspoon to Los Angeles? Will they bring in another interior player? In her seven WNBA seasons, Liberty Senior Vice President and General Manager Carol Blazejowski oversaw three Eastern Conference championships and remains dedicated to returning to the WNBA Finals and winning it all.
How have you been preparing for the upcoming WNBA Draft?
New York has the fifth overall pick on April 17.
"We prepare by attending regular season games and conference tournaments, reviewing lots of game film as well as reviewing player statistics."
When do you start getting prepared for the draft?
"As early as January."
With the loss of Teresa Weatherspoon, are there specific areas or weaknesses are you looking to bolster with your picks?
"The point is covered with the return of Becky Hammon and second year player K.B. Sharp. We will also look to get bigger and more athletic at every position."
With the fifth pick, are you targeting a specific player, a position, or will you take the best available players?
"We have a grouping of five players we are focusing on for our pick and we'll see who's left after four."
With Becky Hammon returning from a serious knee injury, will you be seeking any type of insurance or back-up for her?
"K.B. Sharp, Erin Thorn and veteran Vickie Johnson can all play the point. We will also invite a few point and shooting guards into training camp."
How does this year’s Draft compare to previous ones?
"This year's draft is the strongest and deepest in our young history."
Are you looking to trade up for an even higher Draft position or would you be willing to trade down for an experienced player?
"We are always looking to trade up."
Does foreign scouting consume a lot of your time in the offseason?
"No, it does not. Usually foreign scouting is one trip during the offseason from our staff. We also work with scouts who live overseas along with watching game film."
What kinds of traits do you look for in players?
"We look for players with skill, character and a strong basketball I.Q."
How important is the NCAA Tournament in helping you make last minute decisions?
"The NCAA Tournament can possibly change your mind about a player or peak interest in another player at the last minute."
What prospects do you feel can or will make an immediate impact in the League this season?
"The four players that will make immediate impacts in the league are Diana Taurasi, Alana Beard, Vanessa Hayden and Lindsey Whalen."
With free agency as an option now along with the limitations of a salary cap, are you more likely to fill needs through the Draft, free agency, or trades?
"All three are options, but primarily through free agency and trades."