How Betnijah Laney-Hamilton, a W.N.B.A. Star, Spends Her Sundays

This W.N.B.A. season is Betnijah Laney-Hamilton’s fourth with the New York Liberty. It’s the longest the 30-year-old guard-forward has been on one team in her nine-year career.

She played college basketball at Rutgers University in New Jersey, then the Chicago Sky selected her in the second round of the 2015 W.N.B.A. draft. She traveled through the league — from Chicago to Connecticut to Indiana to Atlanta — before landing with the Liberty in 2021. Ms. Laney-Hamilton quickly became an integral part of the franchise’s rebuilding, and was named to the All-Star team in her first season in New York. Last year, the Liberty reached the W.N.B.A. finals for the first time since 2002.

Ms. Laney-Hamilton’s success with the Liberty has also allowed her to put down roots in Brooklyn. But she hasn’t embraced everything about being a New Yorker: “I don’t think I’ve taken the subway since I’ve been in New York,” she said.

Though she grew up in Delaware, Ms. Laney-Hamilton spent summers and holidays visiting her aunt in Brooklyn, who lived about five minutes away from what is now Barclays Center, where the Liberty play.

All that childhood experience with the borough has come in handy. These days, Ms. Laney-Hamilton’s 2-year-old niece frequently comes up to the city from Delaware to stay with her and explore the area’s many playgrounds.

In the off-season, Ms. Laney-Hamilton lives in Japan, where her husband, Jordan Hamilton, is a professional basketball player in the Japanese B.League. They share a two-bedroom apartment in Downtown Brooklyn.

Back to top button