Leading The Way

Heading into the 2008 WNBA season, the New York Liberty is looking to build on the unprecedented success of the 2007 “Cinderella” campaign. Expectations for the upcoming year are sure to be just as exciting, however NYLiberty.com's Christopher Chin is taking the time to look back to acknowledge the accomplishments of the franchise and its players – seventeen current and former ones, to be exact – who have left their mark in the WNBA record books over the past decade.

2007: Center Janel McCarville finished the season ranked first in the league in field goal percentage, shooting an outstanding 54.6-percent and became the only Liberty player to ever achieve this honor. What made it an even greater accomplishment was the fact that her breakout season came after she spent her first two years in the WNBA battling injuries. This past year, McCarville also saw limited playing time before the All-Star break, but came up strong during the second half of the season to lead the charge into the Playoffs. The 2007 season also brought point guard Loree Moore to the top of the ranks in three of the WNBA’s statistical categories, an individual career-best. Moore averaged 4.79 assists per game (4th), 2.21 steals per game (2nd) and 34.2 minutes per game (5th). Cathrine Kraayeveld recorded a career-best long range shooting percentage of 41.1-percent and found herself ranked 8th overall on the year.

2006: The year marked the only occasion in Liberty history where two players were ranked first in different statistical categories. Backcourt mates Erin Thorn and Becky Hammon led the league in three-point field goal percentage (.431) and free-throw percentage (.960) respectively. Hammon’s shooting from the charity stripe remains to be the second highest free-throw percentage ever recorded by a WNBA player over the course of an entire season.

2005: Hammon again led the Liberty across five statistical categories. Aside from leading the league in free-throw percentage (90.1%), the Colorado State graduate averaged 13.9 points (10th), 4.3 assists (8th), 1.76 steals (6th), and 34.7 minutes per game (4th).

2004: Statistically speaking, the season belonged to Elena Baranova. The Russian native completed the year ranked in the Top 10 in four different categories. She averaged 7.2 rebounds per game (5th), shot .463 from the field (10th), hit .461 of her three point shots (2nd), and averaged 1.71 blocks per contest (4th). Throughout her tenure with the Liberty (2003-2005), Baranova annually ranked in the Top 10 in blocks per game.

2003: The year marked an important milestone in franchise history, as the season in which Hammon finished ranked first in the WNBA in free-throw percentage (.951) and three-point field goal percentage (.469). She became the second Liberty player (with legend Teresa Weatherspoon), to finish the year atop the leader board in two statistical categories. Weatherspoon was the first to achieve this rare feat during the inaugural 1997 season, when she led the league in assists per game (6.1) and steals per game (3.04).

2002: Tari Philips distinguished herself as one of the WNBA’s top players, bringing down seven rebounds per game (8th).

2001: Philips averaged eight boards per contest (5th). Each season with the Liberty, she was ranked among the elite in terms of steals per game and field goal percentage.

From 1997 through 2000, fans saw greats such as Weatherspoon, Vickie Johnson and Kym Hampton cement their legacies as all-time WNBA greats. During these seasons, Johnson regularly appeared on the Top 10 list for free-throw percentage and three-point field goal percentage, while Weatherspoon annually landed near the top in assists per game, steals per game and minutes per game. Over the course of the next three seasons (1998-2000), she ranked second in the league in assists, averaging more than six per game. Overall, throughout her tenure in New York, Weatherspoon appeared on the WNBA’s Top 10 leaders list on fifteen separate occasions, which remains to be a Liberty record.


The following is the complete list of Liberty players who have ranked in the WNBA's Top 10 over the past 11 seasons.

Untitled Document

Year Player Category Rank In League
2007
Janel McCarville
Field Goal Pct. 
1 (.546)
2007
Catherine Kraayeveld
3-Pt FG Pct.
8 (.411)
2007
Loree Moore 
Assists Per Game
4 (4.79)
2007
Loree Moore  
Steals Per Game
2 (2.21)
2007
Loree Moore 
Minutes Per Game
5 (34.2)
2006
Shameka Christon
Scoring Average
19 (12.4)
2006
Loree Moore
Assists Per Game
12 (3.6)
2006
Erin Thorn
3-Pt FG Pct.
1 (.431)
2006
Becky Hammon
Free Throw Pct.
1 (.960)
2006
Loree Moore
Steals Per Game
8 (1.79)
2006
Shameka Christon
Blocks Per Game
7 (1.24)
2005
Becky Hammon
Scoring Average
10 (13.9)
2005
Ann Wauters
Scoring Average
13 (13.7)
2005
Elena Baranova
Rebounds Per Game
7 (6.9)
2005
Ann Wauters
Rebounds Per Game
10 (6.6)
2005
Becky Hammon
Assists Per Game
8 (4.3)
2005
Vickie Johnson
Assists Per Game
18 (2.7)
2005
Ann Wauters
Field Goal Pct.
2 (.541)
2005
Becky Hammon
Free Throw Pct.
1 (.901)
2005
Shameka Christon
Free Throw Pct.
7 (.855)
2005
Becky Hammon
Steals Per Game
6 (1.76)
2005
Elena Baranova
Blocks Per Game
7 (1.39)
2005
Becky Hammon
Minutes Per Game
4 (34.7)
2004
Becky Hammon
Scoring Average
14 (13.5)
2004
Crystal Robinson
Scoring Average
19 (12.1)
2004
Elena Baranova
Rebounds Per Game
5 (7.2)
2004
Becky Hammon
Assists Per Game
7 (4.4)
2004
Vickie Johnson
Assists Per Game
11 (3.6)
2004
Elena Baranova
Field Goal Pct.
10 (.463)
2004
Elena Baranova
3-Pt FG Pct. 
2 (.461)
2004
Vickie Johnson
Free Throw Pct.
2 (.886)
2004
Becky Hammon
Steals Per Game
7 (1.71)
2004
Elena Baranova
Blocks Per Game
4 (1.71)
2003
Vickie Johnson
Scoring Average
15 (13.4)
2003
Tari Phillips
Rebounds Per Game
5 (8.5)
2003
Teresa Weatherspoon
Assists Per Game
6 (4.4)
2003
Becky Hammon
3-Pt FG Pct.
1 (.469)
2003
Becky Hammon
Free Throw Pct.
1 (.951)
2003
Vickie Johnson
Free Throw Pct.
10 (.859)
2003
Tari Phillips
Steals Per Game
5 (1.70)
2003
Elena Baranova
Blocks Per Game
8 (1.30)
2002
Tari Phillips
Scoring Average
17 (14.1)
2002
Tari Phillips
Rebounds Per Game
8 (7.0)
2002
Teresa Weatherspoon
Assists Per Game
3 (5.7)
2002
Tari Phillips
Field Goal Pct.
7 (.491)
2002
Vickie Johnson
3-Pt FG Pct. 
4 (.421)
2002
Tari Phillips
Steals Per Game
7 (1.81)
2002
Tamika Whitmore
Blocks Per Game 
7 (1.34)
2001
Tari Phillips
Scoring Average
7 (15.3)
2001
Tari Phillips
Rebounds Per Game
5 (8.0)
2001
Teresa Weatherspoon
Assists Per Game
2 (6.3)
2001
Tari Phillips
Field Goal Pct.
5 (.507)
2001
Crystal Robinson
3-Pt FG Pct.
7 (.417)
2000 
Tari Phillips (Por-NY)
Scoring Average
16 (13.8)
2000 
Tari Phillips (Por-NY)
Rebounds Per Game
4 (8.0)
2000 
Teresa Weatherspoon
Assists Per Game
2 (6.4)
2000 
Vickie Johnson
3-Pt FG Pct.
10 (.380)
2000 
Becky Hammon
Free Throw Pct.
4 (.884)
2000 
Vickie Johnson
Free Throw Pct.
5 (.882)
2000 
Teresa Weatherspoon
Steals Per Game
6 (2.03)
2000
Sue Wicks
Blocks Per Game
8 (1.22)
1999
Vickie Johnson
Scoring Average
16 (13.3)
1999
Sue Wicks
Rebounds Per Game
7 (7.0)
1999
Kym Hampton 
Rebounds Per Game
18 (5.6)
1999
Teresa Weatherspoon
Assists Per Game
2 (6.4)
1999
Vickie Johnson
Assists Per Game
12 (3.3)
1999
Crystal Robinson 
3-Pt FG Pct.
4 (.437)
1999
Teresa Weatherspoon
3-Pt FG Pct.
10 (.378)
1999
Crystal Robinson
Free Throw Pct. 
8 (.845)
1999
Vickie Johnson
Free Throw Pct.
9 (.837)
1999
Teresa Weatherspoon
Steals Per Game
2 (2.44)
1999
Sue Wicks
Blocks Per Game
7 (1.34)
1999
Teresa Weatherspoon
Minutes Per Game
9 (33.9)
1999
Vickie Johnson
Minutes Per Game
10 (33.8)
1998
Sophia Witherspoon
Scoring Average
12 (13.8)
1998
Vickie Johnson
Scoring Average
19 (12.5)
1998
Rebecca Lobo
Rebounds Per Game
8 (6.9)
1998
Kym Hampton
Rebounds Per Game
13 (6.0)
1998
Teresa Weatherspoon
Assists Per Game
2 (6.4)
1998
Vickie Johnson
Assists Per Game
20 (2.5)
1998
Rebecca Lobo
Field Goal Pct. 
6 (.484)
1998
Vickie Johnson 
3-Pt FG Pct. 
7 (.375)
1998
Teresa Weatherspoon
Steals Per Game
1 (3.33)
1998
Rebecca Lobo
Blocks Per Game
6 (1.10)
1998
Teresa Weatherspoon
Minutes Per Game
7 (33.4)
1997
Sophia Witherspoon
Socring Average
7 (14.5)
1997
Rebecca Lobo
Scoring Average
14 (12.4)
1997
Rebecca Lobo
Rebounds Per Game
5 (7.3)
1997
Kym Hampton
Rebounds Per Game
11 (5.8)
1997
Teresa Weatherspoon
Assists Per Game 
1 (6.1)
1997
Vickie Johnson
Assists Per Game
16 (2.5)
1997
Kym Hampton
Field Goal Pct.
5 (.471)
1997
Sophia Witherspoon
3-Pt FG Pct. 
7 (.349)
1997
Teresa Weatherspoon
Steals Per Game
1 (3.04)
1997
Rebecca Lobo
Blocks Per Game
4 (1.82)
1997
Kym Hampton 
Blocks Per Game
10 (.68)
1997
Rebecca Lobo
Minutes Per Game
8 (33.5)
1997
Teresa Weatherspoon
Minutes Per Game 
10 (33.0)