Sugar traded to New York

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Big Apple recently reduced its dependency on artificial sweeteners when the WNBA’s New York Liberty acquired Sugar Rodgers, former King’s Fork High School star, in a trade with the Minnesota Lynx.

Rodgers, entering her second year in the WNBA, was traded from the Lynx to the Liberty for the rights to swap third-round picks in the 2015 draft.

WNBA player Sugar Rodgers will now be wearing the colors of the New York Liberty following her recent trade from the Minnesota Lynx. (Photo submitted by Alex King)

WNBA player Sugar Rodgers will now be wearing the colors of the New York Liberty following her recent trade from the Minnesota Lynx. (Photo submitted by Alex King)

“I wasn’t mad,” Rodgers said, noting that she was only mildly surprised because the Lynx had used their first round pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft on another guard.


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The Lynx had little need for Rodgers’ skills in 2013, with a veteran team that took home Minnesota’s second WNBA championship in the last three years. Rodgers averaged 7.6 minutes and 1.9 points per game during the regular season.

“Even though I got traded, it was lovely in Minnesota,” Rodgers said. “You can’t beat winning the championship in your rookie year.”

There are some obvious reasons for her, as well as family and friends, to be happy about her move to New York.

“Her being on the East Coast changes so much,” said Rickeda Fofana, a former coach of Rodgers’ who sees her as a daughter after she began staying with the Fofanas while a senior at King’s Fork. “It makes her so much more accessible, makes it easier for us to be there and support her.”

For this very reason, New York was actually one of the two teams Fofana said she was hoping would pick Rodgers in the 2013 WNBA Draft.

Rodgers noted her family can come by train, bus, a short flight or even car, particularly when the Liberty play in Washington, D.C.

Fofana’s husband, Maurice, the current King’s Fork girl’s basketball coach, said he liked the Minnesota team Rodgers was on, but later added, “She’ll probably play a lot more in New York.”

Rickeda Fofana said the trade to the Liberty “was exciting also because, of course, they wanted her, which was a big thing.”

Liberty head coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer, former NBA star with the Detroit Pistons, confirmed this.

“I think that we are looking for a guard, at least one, if not two guards, and I’m not a point guard person,” he said. “I’m a lead guard person. I like scoring guards. She fit that bill.”

Rodgers finished her college career at Georgetown University as the school’s all-time leading scorer — for both men and women — with a total of 2,518 points.

Laimbeer said New York has a good relationship with Minnesota, and the Lynx were looking out for her by trading her to a place where she had more of a chance to play.

“She came to compete for a spot, so we’ll see how it all works out,” Laimbeer said.

Rodgers mentioned another perk of the trade.

“Who doesn’t want to play in Madison Square Garden, one of the most famous gyms still around?” she said.

She has also finished writing her book chronicling how she overcame a difficult childhood to achieve success. It will be published sometime in August.

The trade to New York already has her thinking about writing a “Part Two.”