The Plain Brilliance of Liberty Wing Betnijah Laney

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Tone setters. Each profitable workforce wants one.

Former Rutgers College standout Betnijah Laney is simply that for the New York Liberty. Don’t be fooled by her smile. When she steps between the strains, the versatile wing is ready to do no matter it takes to win.

She’s additionally performed a pivotal function in New York snapping the franchise’s postseason streak—for the primary time in over 20 years, the Libs are headed to the WNBA Finals and can match up towards the Las Vegas Aces for the championship.

On each ends of the ground, No. 44 is invaluable. On a roster stacked with superstars, together with two former MVPs, the Delaware-native is a chunk the Liberty can not do with out. Laney netted 20 or extra factors in every of the ultimate three contests of the WNBA Semifinals towards the Connecticut Solar.

Betnijah Laney and the Liberty starred on the quilt of SLAM 246. Learn the quilt story right here. 

Together with her workforce’s again towards the wall on its house ground in Sport 2, the previous second-round choice confirmed up. In a must-win sport, Laney related on 5 photographs from past the arc, probably the most she has transformed in any sport of her profession—two of which got here within the closing three minutes of the fourth quarter.

By the primary two rounds of the playoffs, Laney sits within the top-two of New York’s subject aim share, three pointers made, and whole factors. Solely three gamers within the postseason have contributed to extra factors within the painted space than the 2020 WNBA Most Improved Participant.

She was one in every of simply seven gamers in the complete W this season to have a three-point taking pictures share over 39 % whereas taking 1.5 or extra threes per contest. The nook is her area. The result’s nearly inevitable for those who fail to shut her out.

“B’s constructed like this,” Brondello stated following the clincher in Connecticut, “I do know it was a little bit little bit of a course of early within the season. We had been making an attempt to work it out the way it all mixed, however I feel we took off once we discovered “B” getting extra built-in into the offense as a result of she’s a tremendous scorer. We simply didn’t need it to only be “B” the defensive participant.”

The defensive aspect of the ball is the a part of the sport what she is greatest recognized for. In a collection towards a traditionally prolific Aces’ offense, Laney’s potential to protect a couple of place can be important.

The 2023 Commissioner’s Cup Remaining was an ideal instance of what she will do on that finish of the ground towards Las Vegas. The 6-foot wing was tasked with the duty of predominately guarding Kelsey Plum, and Chelsea Grey—within the third quarter, No. 44 was locked in when taking part in halfcourt protection on Plum in isolation, and took on the duty of marking up Grey full-court after a Stewart three.

“Whether or not its guarding the opposite workforce’s greatest participant, or making performs, she is somebody who is aware of what she is sweet at,” Stewart stated about Laney following a win over Washington. “To have the ability to have her on our aspect is big for us. She continues to maintain taking part in, giving us that sense of readability when occasions get powerful.”


Motion photograph through Getty Photos. Portraits by Marcus Stevens





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