Heather Cassady will get a look from the WNBA's New York Liberty
Bloomington, Ind. - Indiana women's basketball players Heather Cassady and Erin McGinnis have both been invited to try out for WNBA franchises.
Cassady was extended an invitation from the New York Liberty, with McGinnis being invited by the Miami Sol.
"I am very excited to get this chance," McGinnis said. "I just learned about it and it is very unexpected. It has always been a hope for me, but now I am getting a chance to prove that I belong in the league."
The Hoosiers have already established ties to the WNBA this year, with Jill Chapman being selected as the 21st overall pick in the draft by the Detroit Shock. Chapman is one of two Hoosiers in the league, joining the Seattle Storm's Quacy Barnes.
I am so excited about this opportunity, Cassady said. It is a once in a lifetime chance, and I cant wait. I was so disappointed after the draft, but good things happen and now I am so excited again.
Both Cassady and McGinnis will begin practicing with their respective clubs on Monday, with team rosters for the upcoming season being finalized on May 24. Each WNBA team is allowed to carry 18 players on the roster until the May 24 deadline, when they must trim the roster down to 11 active players and two players on injured reserve.
I am going to show them that I can play some defense and that I can shoot off the dribble, Cassady said. Other than that, I am just going to stick with what Ive been doing and see what happens.
Cassady and McGinnis were both instrumental in the Hoosiers Big Ten championship run this season, with Cassady earning Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Player honors in addition to being an all-Big Ten selection. McGinnis earned all-Big Ten honors as well and ranked among the conference leaders in three-point shooting percentage (.357 pct.) and free throw percentage (.843 pct.)
"I am going to try to show my strengths: my versatility and my shot," McGinnis said. "I am going to get out there and rebound and help make the rest of the team better with my passing."
Cassady will get a look from a Liberty squad that prides itself solid and efficient guard play. Cassady, who led the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play last season with a 2.46 mark, will find herself among a team that ranked third in the league in assists and had the third-least amount of turnovers. In addition, New York ranked second in the league in three-point shooting.
As for McGinnis, she will find herself in a position to possibly bolster a Sol offense that struggled from beyond the arc last season. A player who made a name for herself as someone with unlimited three-point range, McGinnis will practice with a Miami squad that ranked 14th in the league (out of 16 teams) in three-point percentage.
"I am so excited for them," Indiana head coach Kathi Bennett said. "This is so much better than any pre-draft camp, because they get invited and they really get a chance to show their ability."