Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

WNBA Feature: Rehabbed Boyd Healthy, Happy and Home With the NY Liberty

By ROB KNOX (@knoxrob1)


WASHINGTON – Brittany Boyd is happy, healthy and home.


An affable 5 foot, nine inch guard with a million-watt smile from the New York Liberty, Boyd conquered her rehabilitation from a torn left Achilles’ tendon with the same savage ferocity in which she attacks opposing players on the court. 


“I would say it was challenging and every day was a grind,” Boyd said of the rehab process prior to her squad’s game against the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena. “At times, I didn’t want to do it but I had no other choice because I knew how important it was for me to come back and be ready to play. I didn’t understand (the injury) at first but as the process went along, I understood it and accepted it for what it was.”


Soaring over obstacles and twisting through defenders, the 25-year-old Boyd is back -- perhaps better than ever. 

The dynamic Boyd scored a season-high 14 points during an overtime win against the Chicago Sky on July 1. In her sixth game this season, Boyd dished a career best 11 assists in a victory over the Atlanta Dream on June 19.


The energetic sparkplug, who performs with a calculating ruthlessness is appreciative of her journey back to the court. It took time for her to process her devastating setback when she first went down. However, once she got past those thoughts, Boyd focused on getting healthy and returning.


During pregame warmups before the Liberty dropped an 86-67 decision to the Washington Mystics last Thursday, Boyd was laughing with teammates, knocking down jumpers and chatting with legendary Teresa Weatherspoon, who serves as the Liberty’s Director of Player Development. She was definitely comfortable in her sanctified haven.


“For me, I accepted (the rehab process),” Boyd said. “I took it on head-on. I had good days and I had bad days. I think overall, I respected the good and bad. I appreciated the good and appreciated the bad and I feel like that’s helped me through this process.”


There was nothing easy for Boyd, who had successful repair surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery on May 22, 2017. She was injured in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Lynx in the Liberty’s second game of the season. 


“My rehab process took up my entire day,” Boyd said. “It was Monday through Friday for about 12 hours when you factored in everything from waking up, the physical therapy, driving and being at the basketball facility.

“ It was challenging. 

“My real emotions began when I started running again. I was like am I going to be as quick as I was before the injury. Just knowing that moment early in my recovery process when I felt I had the same type of quickness, I was like all right I am going to be fine.”


While the fans are excited to see Boyd back so is first-year head coach Katie Smith.

 Through 14 games, Boyd is averaging just under 17 minutes per out. She has made the most of her time though contributing 5.1 points per contest, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds. 

She’s also averaging a shade over one steal per game as well. She’s seventh, just one behind Washington’s Natasha Cloud in the WNBA in assists per game. 


Boyd and the Liberty host the Dallas Wings Sunday at 3 p.m. That means a matchup against Skylar Diggins-Smith, who is third in the WNBA in assists (6.4) and ninth in scoring (18.5).


“She brings a different dynamic to our team,” Smith said. “It’s great to have her back because she’s a disrupter with the way she attacks, uses her speed and is aggressive on defense. 

“She has that gear that puts a lot of pressure on a defense. She can create for herself and others. It’s been fun to inject her into games and she’s had some big impacts. She’s doing fine and where she needs to be physically.”


Boyd knows her injury occurred for a reason. She was always strong-minded. The injury fortified her resilience and improved her patience. 


She has the word “Savage” scrawled on the side of her sneakers. It’s a perfect word to describe Boyd.


“It describes the offseason I had,” Boyd said. “Plus I understand that’s the mentality that I need to play with all the time in being a savage in any way possible to help us get wins.

“ It’s my personal mentally and how I approach the game everyday. I come in like a dog because I want it. I really do want it. Anyway I can help this team, that’s what I am willing to do.”


Boyd still has a daily reminder of her injury – with a scar on the back of left Achillies’ tendon. It still doesn’t stop Boyd from wearing sandals or having her feet out. After all, she is from California. 


“It’s part of my story,” Boyd said. “I wish it wasn’t there but I am so used to seeing it. I embrace it. I just thank God that I am able to play this game again. 

“I knew that God got me and he still has me. I knew I would be fine if I trusted the process. I knew that all the work that I put in helped get me back to this point where I can help us reach our goals.”