Behind every great team is a great coach and coaching staff. This is no exception when speaking of the New York Liberty Team.
The coaching staff has continually pushed the players to reach their full potential, and in doing so have helped foster a great team.
Head Coach John Whisenant is going into his first season with the New York Liberty, after taking over for coach Anne Donovan. Whisenant has taken on many different roles other than coach, including assistant coach and general manager.
He put on these different hats while he was working with the Sacramento Monarchs. Before he became involved with professional sports, Whisenant was a coach at Coffeyville Community College where he finished with a 48-10 record. Following this position, he helped the University of New Mexico win 2 WAC championships and served as the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the New Mexico Slam in the International Basketball League.
Whisenant also served as a consultant for the Sacramento Kings that would eventually lead to an assistant coaching position for the Sacramento Monarchs. The following year saw him as the general manager and then he took over as head coach in the middle of the season in 2003.
He won the WNBA award for Coach of the Year in 2005 and saw his team win the WNBA championships. Whisenant coached one more season before resigning.
Lady Grooms is a former professional basketball player who has decided to pass on her talent and love of the game to the next generation of players. Grooms was one of the first 16 players to be allocated to a team in the Initial Player Allocation Draft. She had 8 good seasons of hard work and averaged 4.6 points per game and 2.1 rebounds per game.
Also during her career in the WNBA, she scored over 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Grooms has been fortunate enough to play both overseas and in the states. After retiring from play, Grooms coached a high school varsity girls basketball program. This team won the state title every year and Grooms has also won state and regional Coach of the Year awards.
Monique Ambers is in her first season with the Liberty. She previously worked 8 seasons with the Sacramento Monarchs as an assistant coach, where she was in charge of advanced scouting and developing post players.
As a former player, Ambers was actually asked to participate in the Monarchs 2001 training camp. The reason Ambers is so talented at her job is because she used to be a player. She knows how tough it is to play in this league and uses her experiences to help mold players to their full potential.
With the Liberty, Ambers specialties are scouting, talent development and evaluation, leading a group and communication. In addition to professional coaching, Ambers was also the assistant coach at George Washington University. From 1994-97, Ambers accumulated a record of 80-19. She was initially drafted by the Phoenix Mercury in the 1997 WNBA Draft.