Hitting the Road with Coach Coyle

February 9, 2005 -- New York Liberty Head Coach Patty Coyle recently ventured out west to visit two of our own Liberty players ... Becky Hammon and Erin Thorn ... and checked in with nyliberty.com following her trip.

Currently Hammon is in Colorado playing for the NWBL’s Colorado Chill, and Thorn is in Utah as the Director of Basketball Operations for Brigham Young’s Women’s Basketball program.

While in Colorado did you get to see Becky Hammon’s team play?
PC: “I had the chance to see Becky play three games as well as watch her team practice. The last night there I had dinner with Becky - it was nice to spend some quality time away from the basketball court with her."

Were you pleased by how well Becky is playing?
PC: “Becky seemed like she was back to her old self offensively. She is averaging 20.6 points per game, and is leading the league in assists with 6.5 per game. Becky was making plays and shots without hesitation each time down the floor. I can’t wait for that to carry over into our WNBA season.”

There are several other WNBA players who are playing in the NWBL this season. Did you see any of these players on your trip?
PC: “I had a chance to see Ruth Riley who is also on the Chill. I saw the Chill compete against three different teams and saw Cheryl Ford, Anna DeForge, Jocelyn Penn, Sherika Wright, and Molly Creamer (who was in our training camp) play. There are a lot of players in that league who are on the fringe of making it to the WNBA.”

You also visited Erin Thorn in Utah ... how is she doing?
PC: “It was great to see Erin and spend some time with her and her family. Erin has really worked hard changing her body strength in the off season. I had the opportunity to see her in her "work environment" as the Basketball Operations Director with the BYU basketball team. Her parents invited me to spend an evening with them as well. It was a wonderful experience. Erin has a great family, very nice and kind.”

How is Erin preparing for the start of the 2005 WNBA season?
PC: “Erin works out two times a week with a personal trainer who has really helped point her in the right direction. She works on her game and plays whenever she can. It will be exciting to see her development in training camp this season.”

“It was good to catch up with some of our players during this off-season. I am glad to see that they are working hard and are motivated to coming into training camp ready and in shape. I have spent a good deal of the off-season preparing for the upcoming WNBA season myself, and I can’t wait until the team returns in April.”

Be sure to visit nyliberty.com throughout the off-season for additional updates.