When Nyara Sabally was drafted No. 5 overall by the New York Liberty, she noted that she is looking forward to learning from her teammates.
With the announcement from the Liberty’s general manager Jonathan Kolb that she will miss the 2022 WNBA season, Sabally will be soaking up that knowledge on the sidelines.
The 6-foot-5 forward aggravated her right knee, which has twice required surgery for a torn interior cruciate ligament, early last season.
“We knew heading into the selection for Nyara that there was a very strong chance that she would not play this year because of her current health condition,” Kolb said.
“We knew that in selecting her and that will be the case,” he continued. “We knew taking her we’re going to have her rights going forward and we’re going to work with Nyara and her representatives and doctors to make sure that she’s ready to roll for ‘23.”
A native of Berlin, Germany, the 6-5 forward is the younger sister of Satou Sabally, the Dallas Wings forward and No. 2 selection in the 2020 WNBA Draft.
After missing the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons due to injury, the younger Sabally was an All-Pac-12 selection the past two seasons and a finalist for the 2021-22 Katrina McClain Award as the nation’s top power forward. This season, she led Oregon in scoring (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg).
When Sabally is healthy enough to get on the court again, she feels that her versatility will benefit the Liberty.
“I think that’s one of my biggest strengths, just offensively and defensively, just bringing the energy on defense and bringing the energy on offense and just scoring in the paint, defending the bigs and just bringing a little height,” she explained.
Sabally will also have to wait one more year to play alongside her fellow Oregon Duck Sabrina Ionescu.
“Obviously, Sab [Sabrina Ionescu], never got to play with her at Oregon so I’m thrilled that I get to share the court with her,” Sabally said.