Liberty Acquire All-Star Guard Cappie Pondexter

NEW YORK, NY (March 30) – The New York Liberty has acquired All-Star guard Cappie Pondexter and guard Kelly Mazzante from the Phoenix Mercury as part of a three-team trade, it was announced today by Liberty president and general manager Carol Blazejowski. The Liberty sent forwards Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld to the Chicago Sky, in exchange New York receives Chicago’s 2010 2nd round draft pick (#16). As part of the deal, Chicago sends forward Candice Dupree to Phoenix.

“The Liberty is thrilled to have acquired Cappie Pondexter, one of the top players in the world, in what is truly a franchise changing acquisition. Rarely do you get the opportunity to trade for a player of this magnitude, as Cappie is a proven winner with championship experience and a perennial WNBA All-Star,” said Blazejowski. “Both Shameka and Cathrine have been important members of the Liberty, and we wish them great success in the future and thank them for all of their contributions to the franchise.”

“I had the extreme pleasure of coaching Cappie on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team when we took home the gold medal in Beijing,” said Anne Donovan, head coach, New York Liberty. “She is a marquee talent, the ultimate competitor and will make a big impact for the Liberty at both ends of the floor.”

Originally drafted by Phoenix as the No. 2 overall pick of the 2006 WNBA Draft from Rutgers University, Pondexter has posted career averages of 19.2 ppg and 4.1 apg. A three-time WNBA All-Star, Pondexter helped lead the Mercury to two WNBA Championships averaging 20.8 ppg and 4.6 apg in the playoffs, along with being named the 2007 WNBA Finals MVP. Last season, the 5-9 guard started all 34 regular season games and averaged 19.1 ppg and 5.0 apg. Pondexter posted 20-plus points 18 times, led the Mercury in scoring 13 times and was named Western Conference Player of the Week three times in consecutive weeks, an WNBA first. She finished the 2009 season ranked as the WNBA's No. 4 leading scorer and No. 3 assists leader. Pondexter was also a member of the 2008 Olympic team that captured the gold medal in Beijing.

Kelly Mazzante came to Phoenix as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Dispersal Draft after originally being selected by Charlotte in the 2nd round (18th overall) of the 2004 WNBA Draft. Mazzante graduated from Penn State as the all-time leading scorer in Big Ten Conference history (male or female) and currently sports a 4.8 ppg career average.

New York’s season will open on Sunday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. against Eastern Conference foe, the Chicago Sky, at Madison Square Garden. Season ticket plans for the Liberty’s 2010 season are on sale now by calling 212-465-6766. Individual tickets will go on sale next month.