Spencer Shooting for Big Things in New York

When the Los Angeles Sparks made their way to New York on July 9, Sidney Spencer wasn’t thinking about facing her former teammates for the first time since being traded to the Liberty last May.

Instead, the only thing on the sharpshooting guard’s mind was helping her new team turn its season around.

“It’s fun to see old friends and now make new friends being on a new team,” Spencer said before the game. “But I’m just really trying to take care of business. I’m really concerned about where we are, where our team is, and we’re just trying to take it one game at a time.”

Unfortunately, the Liberty were unable to take care of business, dropping a heartbreaking 69-60 decision at home to the Sparks in the first of two meeting between the teams this season. Spencer missed her only field-goal attempt and went scoreless in six minutes off the bench.

After the contest, however, she hugged her former teammates as the teams walked off the Garden floor.

“I pretty much keep up with how everyone is doing (on the Sparks),” said Spencer, who started 22 games for L.A. in two seasons.

New York acquired the rights to Spencer, a former second-round pick, from Los Angeles in exchange for he Liberty’s 2010 first-round pick just days before training camp began. When Spencer received the news, she was doing what she loves to do the most - and it wasn’t playing basketball.

“I was actually on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic when I got the phone call, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else,” she said. “I was there doing the Lord’s work and it was just great that he was in control. He was going to take care of me wherever I went.”

Spencer has been very involved in the community since her days at Tennessee, serving on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes In Action (FCAIA) leadership team and Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), amongst other local activities. She has already visited several countries on missionary trips and plans on traveling all around the world once her playing days are over.

But first she wants to continue to help the Liberty become a contender in the Eastern Conference. And the Liberty clearly believe she could be a major contributor this season with her long-range shooting ability.

“We got her because she can shoot the ball very well,” Head Coach Pat Coyle said prior to the start of the season. “There’s no doubt she’s going to be what we expected her to be.”

Spencer’s transition in New York off the court, however, has been an easy one to say the least. She played with or against just about every one her teammates before joining the Liberty, including Cathrine Kraayeveld, who was her teammate for Maxima Broker in Slovakia last winter. Her only concerns off the court so far seem to be which places to visit in New York.

“I’m adjusting well,” Spencer said. “I am open to trying new restaurants or anything, so whenever someone has new ideas on where to go, that makes it a lot easier.”