Liberty Select Baranova in 2003 Dispersal Draft

Greenburg, NY - April 24, 2003 — New York Liberty Senior Vice President and General Manager Carol Blazejowski announced today the selection of Elena Baranova in the first and only round of the WNBA Dispersal Draft. Baranova, formally of the Miami Sol, was the 11th player chosen overall.

The 31-year-old Elena Baranova, who played in Russia last season, averaged 12.9 ppg and 9.3 rpg during the 2002 season with UMMC Ekaterinburg. During the 2001 WNBA season she became the first Miami Sol and first Russian player to be named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Baranova also led the WNBA in free throw percentage (.930) and ranked 6th in blocked shots (1.8 bpg).

“We believe the addition of Elena will improve our chances of competing for a WNBA Championship,” said New York Liberty Senior Vice President and General Manager Carol Blazejowski. “We were excited to see she was available as the 11th pick overall. She can certainly step in and make a difference right away.”

The New York Liberty pre-season schedule opens with two road games, May 6th when the team takes on the Connecticut Sun in the Liberty’s first visit to the Mohegan Arena, followed by a May 10th contest in Houston against the Comets. The Liberty wraps up the pre-season schedule at home on May 18th at Madison Square Garden also against the Houston Comets.

The defending WNBA Eastern Conference Champions open the regular season with back-to-back contests, on the road against the Cleveland Rockers on May 31, followed by a rematch of last years Eastern Conference Finals in the team’s home opener against the Washington Mystics at Madison Square Garden on June 1.

Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office or by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX. In addition, tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at To purchase a ticket plan, please call (212) 465-6073 and for Group Sales call (212) 465-6080.