Q+A With Avery Warley

Ros Gold-Onwude

How did the opportunity to play for the New York Liberty arise?

During the preseason I was at Mystics training camp. I didnít play on the team and I continued to prepare and train hoping to get picked up. My agent found the opportunity. Iíve always wanted to play for the Liberty. I went to Liberty University- even had the same name! This team plays my style of ball. I watched a video from Liberty training camp on the web and saw how Bill Laimbeer interacts with the players. I liked it. I had a feeling that I wanted to end up in New York with this team.

What did head coach Bill Laimbeer say he needed to see from you?

He said that I need to be a boost in the post. He wants me to rebound, run the floor and be solid on defense.

What do you think you can bring to the team?

My strengths are my rebounding and defense. I think my role on this team will be just that- to come in and rebound, play defense and as the season progresses work on being an offensive threat.

You come in to replace Cheryl Ford who is celebrated as one of the leagueís greatest rebounders. Do you feel any pressure to fill her shoes?

No. No pressure. I just have to bring what Iím good at. Iím going to focus on rebounding. I donít feel or put any pressure on myself to have to be like her.

Whatís been your biggest challenge since youíve arrived in New York?

Learning the plays! There are so many and I have to learn them quickly. I also am adjusting to the team and the pace of the game.

How was your most recent overseas basketball experience? Are you in game shape?

I just played in Israel for Holon. I had a good season- I usually would get double digit rebounds and points out there. Iím a little rusty as far as game shape. I havenít played in five weeks but I am close to where I need to be. The team had a few days off early in the week and during that time I was working on conditioning.

Who was the first person you told when you received the news that you were being signed by the Liberty?

My fiancť Manwell. He was hyped for me! We were just discussing that the Liberty could be a good fit for me. Thatís the thing- you have to find a team that you fit best. We live in Washington, D.C. together. I had a day to pack up and leave. But heís going to come out here; heíll be at the game on Sunday.

Who else did you tell? What did they say?

I told my mom. Sheís excited. Sheís going to come to the game on Sunday, too. I think I will have six people at the game. My friends and family said: ďa Liberty for the Liberty!Ē

Youíve bounced in and out of the league, played overseas, and continued to train while chasing your dream to get a call to play in the WNBA and stick. What do you do to stay positive during the wait?

Itís a lot of trust in God. I have to trust that this is where I belong. I keep working. You have to, especially when you feel youíve been let down or you fail. I keep working, keep fighting, and keep believing.

Have the other Liberty players embraced you so far?

The team is definitely taking me in and walking me through a lot of things- the veterans especially. Iím really pleased. You donít know what to expect in these situations. Cappie Pondexter, Plenette Pierson, Kelsey Bone and all the posts are being really positive!

How is your relationship developing with the coaches?

I work with Taj McWilliams-Franklin a lot to go over plays. I have to catch up and quickly. Taj has been patient and keeping me abreast. The plays keep piling on- it never stops.

Whatís one thing that Liberty fans need to know about you?

Iím going to give it all Iíve got every night.

Do you have a nickname?

A-Dub. What is the first thing you want to do in New York City outside of basketball?

Shop! I love shopping. Iím not the type to shop randomly; I shop with a purpose. I know what I want.