Crystal Dangerfield Gets Candid About Her Journey to New York

Crystal Dangerfield Gets Candid About Her Journey to New York

Crystal Dangerfield went through quite a journey to finish the 2022 season with the New York Liberty. The former UConn star played her first two seasons with Minnesota Lynx, but the franchise cut her in May despite being honored as the 2020 Rookie of the Year.

Dangerfield signed with the Indiana Fever on a hardship exception, but she was ultimately cut after playing three games with the franchise. She had to wait 15 days before New York swooped in to sign her to consecutive hardship exceptions as the team battled injuries and illness.

Dangerfield’s perseverance and hard work eventually resulted in New York offering a rest-of-season contract on July 3. During her 30 appearances for the Liberty, including 27 starts, Dangerfield averaged 5.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game on 39.5 percent shooting from the field while playing 22.1 minutes per game.

Dangerfield spoke about her tumultuous journey through the 2022 season during end-of-season meetings following the Liberty’s season-ending Game 3 loss to the Sky on Tuesday.

“It took a long time, longer than most people would expect,” Dangerfield said about her adjustment, per Myles Ehrlich of The Next Hoops, “It wasn’t as quick as I’d have liked it to be because you have a job at the end of the day. But my teammates did a good job making me feel like I was here to help.”

A moment later, Dangerfield elaborated further on how she felt about her season. The former ROY said that things were difficult after the Lynx waived her, especially when she didn’t know who would be interested in signing her after she cleared waivers. Dangerfield called the experience in Indiana quick simply because she was only there for four days.

Additionally, Dangerfield revealed that because of how the season was going, when the Liberty called her to offer the hardship deal, her initial inclination was to decline it. But her support system was able to turn her mindset around about playing after telling her, “no, you need to go do this. Go have this opportunity.” That boost she got ended up being fruitful because her time in New York “ended up working out.”

“I told (Jonathon Kolb) that I really appreciate him bringing me in. I told the coaching staff I appreciate them bringing me in.” Dangerfield said. “It took a while to settle in, mainly because you have a vision for yourself and how you want your career to play out. And it just, it hadn’t been like that for the last two years. So, bouncing around and coming to be with New York, being with the people that they are, the teammates that they are — really saved me. They’re fun people; it was a fun team. You saw us on the court; we had fun out there. So they did help with that, but it was mostly just me. I didn’t want to play. I wanted to save my career basically, but I didn’t want to play.”

“I think that was half the battle of it taking so long to settle in, just like one foot in, one foot out the door type deal. Like I said, I had really great people around me. My support system outside of this New York Liberty organization and inside it.

When Michaela Onyenwere was asked about Dangerfield and her impact on the team, she credited Dangerfield for pushing the pace and taking the pressure off Sabrina Ionescu.

“Crystal’s a great player,” Onyenwere said. “So I knew the skills she had — we needed someone who could push the pace, take the pressure off Sabrina. For Crystal to come in and have that burden was really helpful for us.”

Dangerfield is a free agent heading into the offseason.

Leave a Reply