Rebekah Gardner vs. the NY Liberty
July 23, 2022: Chicago Sky guard Rebekah Gardner vs. the New York Liberty

Rebekah Gardner Is the Perfect Veteran Addition For the Liberty

The New York Liberty have acquired the player rights to guard Rebekah Gardner from the Chicago Sky in exchange for the Liberty’s 2025 and 2026 second-round draft picks. Khristina Williams of ‘Girls Talk Sports TV‘ was the first to report the deal last month.

The 33-year-old is expected to take the floor for the Liberty in 2025 since she is recovering from a torn right Achilles that she suffered in February while repping Spanish club Spar Girona.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Rebekah to New York and support her recovery process,” said Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said. “She has shown tremendous perseverance throughout her career, and in tandem with our talented performance staff, we are confident she will be positioned to have the best opportunity at a full recovery as we target the 2025 season for her return.”

The Long and Winding Road

After going undrafted out of UCLA in 2012, Gardner made a name for herself overseas. A decade later she capitalized on a training camp invite from the Sky and became one of the WNBA’s best stories during the 2022 season as a 31-year-old rookie. 

Averaging 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals, Gardner was named to the WNBA’s All-Rookie team as her defense played a major role in Chicago’s victory in the opening round of the 2022 playoffs over the Liberty. Gardner put the clamps down on some of the team’s best shooters as the Sky won the latter two contests dominantly.

Gardner’s sophomore season also had a strong start, as she recorded 10 points and four steals off the bench in an opening night win over Minnesota. But one week later, she broke her left foot in a loss to Washington and was sidelined for the rest of the year.

The Scouting Report

Gardner is elite moving off the ball, and her cutting ability and vision are superb. Thanks to her quickness, she constantly pushes the defense in transition. Her shooting stroke from deep is one of the few inconsistent areas of her game, but she’s a savvy pick-and-roll operator. Gardner also reads the floor and maps defenders out exceptionally well.

Her defense is poetry in motion.

She is excellent at the point of attack, has quick hands, plays aggressively without over-fouling, and navigates screens effectively. Her nail defense and ability to make plays rotating low are also notable.

Gardner is the perfect veteran addition for the Liberty. New York will be a better, deeper team because of her play when she is ready to hit the court.