New York, NY,
18:09 PM

New York Liberty Announce 2021 Opening Night Roster

HSS Physicians to Lead Team’s Medical Staff

The New York Liberty today announced their 2021 roster following the conclusion of the team’s training camp.


* Contracts are temporarily suspended. Will not be active for May 14 game against Indiana due to WNBA health & safety protocols.

The Liberty will return seven players from the 2020 roster, including Layshia Clarendon, Sabrina Ionescu, Jazmine Jones, Leaonna Odom, Kylee Shook, Kiah Stokes and Jocelyn Willoughby (out for season).

The 2021 Liberty will welcome veterans Betnijah Laney, Natasha Howard and Sami Whitcomb. The team will also feature 2021 draftees Michaela Onyenwere (No. 6 overall selection) and DiDi Richards (No. 17 overall selection).

New York’s coaching staff is led by second-year head coach, Walt Hopkins. Returning to the staff are assistant coaches Shelley Patterson and Dustin Gray, while first-year assistant coach and former WNBA player, Jacki Gemelos, will round out the Liberty’s staff.

In addition, the New York Liberty have announced their 2021 Medical Staff, in partnership with the team’s official hospital and medical provider, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).

The WNBA’s 25th Anniversary season tips off on May 14 at 7 p.m., when the New York Liberty host the Indiana Fever to begin their inaugural season at Barclays Center; the game will be aired on YES Network and the YES App.


The New York Liberty was founded on October 30, 1996 and is one of three original franchises remaining in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Liberty have made four WNBA Finals appearances in its 24-year history. Owned by Joe and Clara Tsai, owners of the Brooklyn Nets, the Liberty will play its home games at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. For more information, please visit

About HSS

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 14th consecutive year), No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2023-2024), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2023-2024). In a survey of medical professionals in more than 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics for a fourth consecutive year (2023). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection and complication rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. In addition, more than 200 HSS clinical investigators are working to improve patient outcomes through better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat orthopedic, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The HSS Innovation Institute works to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 165 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.