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Samantha Prahalis signed by Liberty

The Phoenix Mercury's Samantha Prahalis dribbles against the

The Phoenix Mercury's Samantha Prahalis dribbles against the Liberty during a game in Phoenix. (Aug. 23, 2012) Credit: AP

Samantha Prahalis is coming home.

The Liberty signed the free-agent point guard to a seven-day contract, coach Bill Laimbeer announced Monday.

The former Ohio State standout and McDonald’s All-American at Commack, a first-round pick (sixth overall) of the Phoenix Mercury in 2012, was waived last week.

Mercury coach and general manager Corey Gaines had said in a statement that Prahalis was released because she wasn’t getting playing time behind Diana Taurasi.

Prahalis had an immediate impact for the Mercury last season when she averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game and was named to the 2012 WNBA All-Rookie Team.

Things didn't work out quite as well this season the 5-7 guard saw her averages dip to 2.3 points and two assists per game. She was waived on July 18.

“Things just didn’t work out [in Phoenix],” Prahalis told Newsday.

Prahalis is hopeful she can earn a permanent place with the Liberty. But a seven-day contract means time will be of the essence. 

“I hope I can have some sort of impact right away,” Prahalis said. “It’s only a seven-day contract so things have to kick in right away.”

The Liberty made room for Prahalis, a three-time Newsday All-Long Island first-team selection and two-time player of the year while at Commack, by waiving second-year center Avery Warley on Saturday.

The chance to play in front of her family and friends really appealed to Prahalis, who said she was “all for it” when the Liberty decided to offer her the deal.

“I’m a family oriented person and it will be great to play at home,” Prahalis said. “And I’m already motivated because of what happened in Phoenix.”

If Prahalis can revert to her 2012 form, she could be the answer to some of the Liberty’s problems on offense.

In an effort to improve the team’s offense, Laimbeer switched Cappie Pondexter, a career shooting guard, to point guard.

It’s been a work in progress for Pondexter, who has seen her scoring opportunities reduced since the change.

Prahalis could bring the team some much needed depth in the backcourt and allow Pondexter to return to shooting guard.

Said Laimbeer: “We are constantly evaluating and searching for ways to improve our ballclub.” 

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