Former Oregon star Nyara Sabally will reportedly miss her WNBA rookie season due to injury
Though she was selected with the fifth overall pick in the recent 2022 WNBA Draft, Nyara Sabally will have to wait to make her professional debut.
New York Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb recently told reporters, according to 247Sports’ Erik Skopil, that Sabally will miss the entire upcoming WNBA season as she recovers from an injury. The Liberty took her with their first pick in Monday’s draft, and they did so, Kolb said, knowing that she’d need to miss her first year.
“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, per Skopil. “We knew that in selecting her and that will be the case. 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 is ready to roll for ’23.”
The 6-foot-5 forward led the Ducks in scoring at over 15 points a game last season. She also led the team in rebounding (7.8 boards), led the team in blocks (1.4), led the team in free throw attempts, finished behind only Maddie Scherr for the team lead in steals (1.4), and finished with the third-highest shooting clip. Sabally also proved more than capable at the free throw line, hitting 73% of her makes on five attempts a game.
In last month’s NCAA Tournament, despite a double-overtime loss to Belmont, Sabally was brilliant. She scored 31 points in 48 minutes, grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked seven shots, picked up three steals, and shot 50% from the field.
Her selection by the Liberty was doubly exciting in that it figured to reunite her with former Oregon teammate Sabrina Ionescu. The two weren’t able to share the floor in Eugene because of knee injuries that cost Sabally her first two seasons, and now it appears they’ll have to wait a little longer still to play together. Nevertheless, it speaks to the Liberty’s excitement of Sabally that they were willing to take her when they did knowing she’d be unavailable.
The new season in the WNBA tips off on May 6. Ionescu and the Liberty will host the Connecticut Sun in their season-opener on Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. PT on ESPN.