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Liberty waive one rookie then sign another

I know I wasn’t the only person who wanted Jessica Breland to factor into the Liberty’s success this season. Unfortunately for the fans and even more regrettably for her, Breland won’t have the chance to prove herself in New York this year.

The Liberty today waived Breland, a 6-3 rookie guard, after just nine games. To fill the roster spot, Head Coach and General Manager John Whisenant signed rookie Felicia Chester, a 6-3 forward.

The 15th pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft out of DePaul, Chester has yet to play in a game this season. She was selected in the first round by Minnesota, who immediately traded her to Atlanta. Chester participated in the Dream’s training camp before she was waived.

I don’t know much about Chester other than her career stat line at DePaul, where she earned All-Big East Honorable Mention for 2010-11. She averaged 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds at college.

Chester’s height and college rebounding numbers indicate that she might be a presence in the paint, the question is how effective she’ll be. She’s obviously good enough to be a WNBA first-round selection, but two teams already gave her a shot and passed. So who knows?

Chester will be available for the Liberty in their next game, a Friday night affair at San Antonio. We’ll see what she brings to the table.

Of course, Chester has to earn the playing time. She’ll be behind Plenette Pierson, Nicole Powell and fellow rookie Alex Montgomery at the forward position.

During her brief stint with the Liberty, Breland struggled to get time on the court. She averaged the most minutes of the three rookies on the roster, but her 2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game weren’t enough in Coach Whiz’s eyes.

Breland’s departure proves that Whiz won’t keep players hanging around. The Lynx drafted Breland with the 14th pick in this year’s draft, one spot ahead of Chester. The Liberty then acquired Breland via trade, sending their No. 22 pick and their 2012 second round pick to the Lynx.

Though she didn’t see much action, Breland was one of my favorite players on the Liberty roster. It’s sad to see her go, but with her talent, I’m certain another team will scoop her up soon.

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