Liberty eyeing future with first pick in Friday night's WNBA draft

Friday night will surely mark a big moment in the modern history of the New York Liberty. The team owns a slew of first-round picks in the 2020 WNBA Draft, including the first-ever No. 1 overall pick in franchise history.

In addition, the Liberty own two other first-round picks (Nos. 9 and 12) as well as two of the first three picks in the third round. Stay tuned to YESNetwork.com and YES' Twitter feed for Liberty coverage throughout Friday night.

In honor of Friday's draft, NYLiberty.com provided a look back at the franchise's draft history:

First-Ever WNBA College Draft Pick

In 1997, heading into the W’s inaugural season, the New York Liberty obtained a wide-array of talent and unbeknownst to them, future franchise legends. After the league’s initial player allocation which placed future Hall of Famers Teresa Weatherspoon and Rebecca Lobo in New York, two drafts were held to supplement the rosters.

New York Liberty legend Teresa Weatherspoon.

In the first (‘Elite Draft’) the Liberty selected Kym Hampton and Vickie Johnson. The second draft was comprised of eligible college players, and New York chose Rutgers forward Sue Wicks sixth overall. All of these women were pioneers for both the organization and for women’s basketball. They make up four of the five spots in the New York Liberty Ring of Honor, which recognizes retired players who have made the most significant contributions to the Liberty’s tradition of excellence and to the growth of the WNBA. Who holds the fifth spot? The NBA’s first female assistant coach -- Becky Hammon.

Highest Picks in Franchise History

Excluding dispersal drafts, New York did not have a top-three pick in the WNBA Draft before 2019. Last year, with the second overall pick, New York selected Louisville guard, Asia Durr, as its highest draftee to date. Prior to Durr, the next-highest draft selection was Alyssa Thomas (fourth overall in 2014).

Now, in its 24th season, the Liberty will select first in the 2020 draft.