Rookie 101

Well now that the 2008 WNBA Draft has come and gone, it's time to introduce you to the new faces who joined the Liberty roster on April 9th. New York possessed four picks in this year's Draft, with two first round picks and two subsequent picks. Before you have a chance to see them in action on the court this summer, NYLiberty.com is giving you the skinny on these four ladies. Check 'em out.


Essence Carson
Nickname: E
Born in: Paterson, NJ
Sign: Leo
Family: Is the second of three children
Went to school at: Rutgers University
Majored in: Psychology with a music minor
As a senior: Started in 27 of the 31 games she appeared in, averaging 10.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg in 34.7 minutes … Missed three games because of injury … Career average was 9.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg … Earned All-Big East Second Team and was awarded Big East Defensive Player of the Year title for the third straight season … Graduating as the 12th all-time best rebounder in Scarlet Knights history with 707 total … Ended her career as 17th on all-time scoring chart. View her highlights
Acquired: Selected as the overall seventh pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft
Position: Guard
Height: 6-0
Number she’ll wear in New York: 17
Special Talent: Plays the piano, bass guitar, drums and saxophone

See her interviewed on MSG NY by clicking here.


Erlana Larkins
Born in: West Palm Beach, FL
Sign: Aries
Went to school at: University of North Carolina
Majored in: Sociology and Afro American Studies
As a senior: Appeared and started in all 35 games, averaging 13.5 ppg and team-high 9.5 rpg … Named to State Farm All-America Team, USBWA All-America Team, AP All-America Second Team, ESPN.com All-America Second Team and All-ACC First Team … Ranked among top 15 in the ACC in seven statistical categories and earned the 2008 ACC Tournament MVP title … Became seventh player in ACC history with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocks in a career.
Acquired: Selected as the overall 14th pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft
Position: Forward
Height: 6-1
Number she’ll wear in New York: 24


Wanisha Smith
Born in: Cincinnati, OH
Sign: Cancer
Went to school at: Duke University
Majored in: Women’s Studies
As a senior: Started 30 games, averaged 9.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 2.9 apg … Scored 1,256 career points (14th all-time) and handed out 496 career assists (4th all-time) as a Blue Devil … In the ACC Tournament, matched a career high with 22 points to lead Duke to an upset victory over fourth-ranked Maryland, and earned second team All-ACC Tournament accolades … Served as a tri-captain, scoring double-figures in 13 contests and hitting 30 three-pointers on the season.
Acquired: Selected as the overall 27th pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft
Position: Guard
Height: 5-11
Number she’ll wear in New York: 23
Special Talent: Drawing

Read our Q&A with Smith here.



Alberta Auguste
Born in: New Orleans, LA
Sign: Gemini
Family: Five siblings
Went to school at: University of Tennessee
Majored in: Psychology
As a senior: Played in all 39 games, started in nine including every NCAA Tournament game … averaged 22.0 mpg and 5.3 ppg … Had more than two steals in 23 games and posted 10+ points 11 times … Won second consecutive national title.
Acquired: Selected as the overall 35th pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft
Position: Forward
Height: 5-11
Number she’ll wear in New York: 15


Get your first look at the new faces of the Liberty in action at Madison Square Garden this summer. Click to score tickets for School Day, the pre-season matinee match-up against the Washington Mystics on Thursday, May 8 at 11:00 a.m. or Opening Day on Sunday, May 18 at 4:00 p.m. against the Connecticut Sun.

Photos courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images, the University of Duke Athletics and the University of Tennessee Athletics ...