Cappie Happy in New York

Speaking to the press during media day earlier this week, Cappie Pondexter was all smiles, thrilled over playing for the Liberty in New York this season.

And the Liberty couldn’t be happier to have Pondexter on board for an opportunity to help bring a WNBA title to the world’s greatest basketball city for the first time in franchise history.

Pondexter brings two rings, an Olympic gold medal and All-Star experience to a talented Liberty squad that fell short of a postseason berth following an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2008. She won’t guarantee a championship in her first season with the team, but winning is certainly her No. 1 priority.

“I don’t want to put us out there and say, ‘Yeah, we’re going to win a championship this year,’” Pondexter said. “No, we’re going to work hard and we’re going to compete for it. I can say that.”

Pondexter will have a very solid supporting cast around her as she hopes to become a team leader on and off the court this season. The Liberty had perhaps one of the most impressive offseason’s in WNBA history, acquiring Pondexter along with All-Stars and former champs Nicole Powell and Taj McWilliams-Franklin. New York also drafted Kalana Greene, who helped lead UConn to a National championship last month.

Add those newcomers to last year’s returners, including Janel McCarville, Essence Carson Kia Vaughn, Tiffany Jackson and Leilani Mitchell amongst others, and the Liberty look like a team built to win right now.

“Having them come in is just great,” McCarville said. “It’s always hard losing people, but when you’re trying to put together a championship squad, you got to do what you got to do.”

Pondexter, a fifth-year veteran, will have the opportunity to guide a new group of players to a championship, and she’s looking forward to the opportunity. In Phoenix, she shared the leadership role with superstar Diana Taurasi. Now, she feels it’s mostly on her to become the vocal leader in New York.

“In Phoenix, it was me and Diana,” Pondexter said. “For me, I was vocal but she was more vocal than I was. And we both led by example. Now, it’s just me. I have Taj here, who’s a veteran for sure, but I have to be vocal, which we need. I want to do it and I love challenges. For me, this is a new challenge in my career and I know it will make me a better player. I’m anxious for it.”

Pondexter is also anxious to play at Madison Square Garden, often referred to as the Mecca of basketball. She will have her first opportunity to play a regular season game at The Garden when the Liberty tip off the season with an afternoon matchup against the Chicago Sky on Sunday. Pondexter finished two assists shy of a triple-double in her preseason debut at the World’s Most Famous Arena on Tuesday.

“I love playing on the big stage,” Pondexter said. “I’ve won at every high level in my career. To be in New York to cap off my career, I think it will be tremendous.”

As long as her legs and mind hold up, Pondexter plans on being on the basketball court… and in a Liberty uniform.

“I want to finish here. I don’t want to go any other place.”

See Cappie in action all summer long with the Liberty at Madison Square Garden. Season ticket plans and individual tickets are on sale now by clicking here.