New York, N.Y., February 8, 2018 — The New York Liberty today announced its upcoming 2018 schedule. Additionally, The Madison Square Garden Company confirmed that it will continue to operate the Liberty with current management and coaching staff in place, as it continues its search for the right new owner to steward the franchise.
The Company also announced that The Westchester County Center, located in White Plains, NY, will serve as the primary home for the New York Liberty during the 2018 season, with select games to be played at The Garden.
“While MSG remains committed to finding a new owner for the Liberty, the Company is focused on supporting the team’s long-term success in New York,” said New York Liberty President Isiah Thomas. “MSG has had a very positive experience at the Westchester County Center and believes it is a venue where the Liberty can extend our fan base while maintaining our roots at The Garden.”
“The New York Liberty has been a mainstay with great players and passionate fans since our inaugural season,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders. “We appreciate MSG’s commitment to finding the right owner for the team and look forward to watching the Liberty play its 22nd season with games at The Westchester County Center, a great, intimate venue for the team’s incredibly passionate fans.”
Thomas also announced that respected executive Daakeia Clarke has been named Chief Operating Officer of the team, with the experienced Dan Padover elevated to Vice President of Basketball Operations. Clarke begins her 8th season with the team, most recently as the Liberty’s VP for Team Business Development, a role she took on after four years as the Director of Marketing. Padover enters his 7th season with the franchise, previously serving as Director of Basketball Operations.
“As we prepare for the 2018 season, our goals remain the same: to compete for a WNBA championship, create memories for our incredible fans, and make a lasting impact in the community,” said Thomas. “To accomplish those goals – we need the most effective front office, with seasoned and talented executives. Keia and Dan are among the best in the business, and well deserving of these promotions. Their contributions – along with the outstanding talents of Katie Smith, who will debut as our head coach this season – have been integral to the team’s success over the past several seasons. Each of them, along with Herb Williams, Teresa Weatherspoon, Swin Cash and, of course, our amazing players, will play critical roles in guiding the franchise into the future.”
The Liberty will tip off the 2018 WNBA season on Sunday, May 20, when it travels to the Chicago Sky at 7 p.m. (ET). New York’s 2018 home opener at Westchester County Center will be against the Minnesota Lynx on Friday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m.
New York will play 15 home games at Westchester County Center, and two games at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty will host the Phoenix Mercury at The Garden on Tuesday, June 5, at 11 a.m., and the Seattle Storm on Monday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m.
First year head coach Katie Smith takes over the reins after serving the previous four seasons as an assistant on Bill Laimbeer’s staff, the last two as Associate Head Coach. Smith is one of the most decorated players in the history of women’s basketball, retiring following the 2013 season as the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball history. Last month, she was named one of nine finalists for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Since Smith joined the coaching staff, the Liberty has posted an overall record of 81-55 (.596), posting 3-straight 20-win seasons and WNBA Playoffs berths from 2015-17.
The WNBA’s balanced Eastern and Western Conference schedule continues for the 2018 season, with Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Indiana, Phoenix and Seattle each paying a pair of visits to the Liberty.
The regular season concludes on Sunday, Aug. 19, when the Liberty concludes a four-game road trip in Phoenix.