Doron picked by Liberty

Maryland senior 16th player taken in WNBA draft

April 05, 2007|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN REPORTER

Shay Doron had only a couple of days to make an impression at last weekend's WNBA pre-draft camp in Cleveland, but she apparently put them to good use.

Doron, the second all-time leading scorer in Maryland women's basketball history, was chosen by the New York Liberty in the second round of the WNBA draft and stands a decent chance to land a spot on the roster of her hometown team.

Doron, a 5-foot-9 guard and native of Israel who played at the famed Christ the King High School in New York, was taken 16th overall, the Liberty's third draft selection.

While many second-round picks have difficulty making rosters, Doron's path was made appreciably easier when the Liberty traded starting point guard Becky Hammon and a second-round pick in next year's draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars for Ohio State center Jessica Davenport, who was taken second overall, and a 2008 first-round pick.

Doron, who could not be reached for comment, is expected to join a three-guard rotation for the Liberty, which finished tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference last year with an 11-23 record, the worst in the 10-year history of the franchise.

"We had her on the radar screen, but we had a pretty good backcourt," Liberty general manager Carol Blazejowski said. "Then, when things kind of unfolded with the Becky trade, we said `OK, we need to see if we can fill that gap that Becky leaves with someone who can play the 1 and the 2. Shay can do that.'"

Doron, the first Maryland player to be drafted into the WNBA in five years, was coach Brenda Frese's first notable recruit. She averaged a career-low 11.8 points a game this season, but that didn't make her less attractive to New York officials.

Rather, the Liberty brass was impressed by her scrappiness and her desire to play better defense at the pre-draft camp.

"This year at Maryland, she sacrificed some of her game because of the people she had around her," said New York coach Pat Coyle, who previously coached at Loyola.

"But what really impressed me about her was her ability to defend. I thought she kept the ball in front of her better than I had anticipated. Seeing her up close in Cleveland, that's when I came away impressed."

milton.kent@baltsun.com

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