Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Liberty's Warley makes WNBA roster in Phoenix

Former Liberty star Avery Warley has defied considerable odds - and given herself an early birthday present - by making the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury as an undrafted free agent. Warley, a three-time first-team All-Big South performer and the conference's all-time leading rebounder, broke the news herself on her Facebook page:

"Officially a Phoenix Mercury...#blessed :)

Warley, who will turn 25 on Thursday, will make her WNBA debut in a nationally televised game against the defending WBNA champion Minnesota Lynx on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (ABC). The Mercury are led by superstar guard Diana Taurasi.

The majority of players that are drafted fail to make WNBA rosters, which are capped at 11 players. But the 6-3 Warley used her tenacious rebounding skills to make a place for herself with the Mercury. She grabbed 13 boards and scored eight points in the Mercury's lone exhibition game last week. On Wednesday, she sweated out a day in which the Mercury cut five other players to get down to the roster limit.

Warley will become the third Liberty graduate to play in the WNBA. Katie (Feenstra) Mattera played in the league for five seasons from 2005-09, and Megan Frazee spent two years (2009 and 2010) with San Antonio.

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