NEW YORK (AP) – It didn’t take long for Jacki Gemelos to get a job after shefrom playing last month.
Hours after she ended her playing career, Liberty coach Walt Hopkins popped into hermessages with an offer.
“Coach Walt had DMed me and asked me what I was going to do after, you know, post-career,” Gemelos said Wednesday. “I told him, ‘You know I don’t know what’s going on yet; I just announced three hours ago, and he was like ‘coaching with me question mark.’
“And my heart just dropped, and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, like that would be unreal.’”
Hopkins knew Gemelos would be an excellent fit for his young team that went 2-20 last season.
“She personifies everything we’re about,” the second-year Liberty coach said. “The toughness, the grit, and she is an unselfish, hardworking person, and that’s been the makeup of this organization and the direction we’re headed.”
It’s tough not to root for her; after all, she went through to make a WNBA roster after undergoing five ACL injuries throughout her playing career in college and the pros. She got her first chance towith Chicago in 2015. After missing making rosters over the , she started last season with Connecticut before finishing it with Washington. The WNBA played its entire season in a bubble in Florida.
Gemelos was known as “The Mayor” of the bubble as she had friends on nearly everyat IMG Academy.
Going to a young team like New York made sense for Gemelos, a top-rated guard coming out of high school in 2006 but didn’t start playing college basketball until 2010 because of.
to this site.”
She immediately has a bond with his 2020 No. 1 draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, who onlylast season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Both are natives.
“It’s hard to scout a team like New York because the offense they run is predicated on justthe defense and relying on your smarts,” Gemelos said. “You add Sabrina to that, and it’s gonna be amazing once all the pieces get put together.”
New York’s first game of the season is on May 14 against Indiana.
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