NEW YORK — Lindsay Allen took advantage of her brief unemployment after getting cut by the New York Liberty at the end of training camp.
She was able to enjoy her final week of college at Notre Dame and partake in graduation ceremonies.
"It's been a little surreal. I've been traveling so much these past few weeks after I got cut," Allen told The Associated Press in an interview before the Liberty lost to the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night. "I never unpacked my bags. Now that I'm finally here I can unpack them. It's been great. Learning a lot still. Learning new plays, getting comfortable."
Allen graduated May 21, packed up her apartment in South Bend and drove a U-Haul back home to Maryland with her belongings. She got a phone call from her agent there saying the Liberty wanted her back.
Now she's back in New York and signed with the team on Wednesday.
"I think everything happens for a reason," Allen said. "For me it was good to go back to South Bend and be a senior. Get that last hurrah out of the way before graduation. Being able to be there and not be rushed and come back here. Being able to have that freedom and take my time. Coming back here was the perfect timing. I had enough of being away, it was time to get a job."
The Liberty were in need of a guard after Brittany Boyd injured her Achilles tendon and was ruled out for the season. New York will also lose Epiphanny Prince for the next few weeks as she plays for Russia in the EuroBasket tournament.
Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer was shocked that Allen was still available.
"We thought she would be claimed," he said. "I'm very surprised she wasn't taken by a certain team. Nobody did, so it was to our advantage."
Laimbeer said that Allen was the final cut and a difficult one to make.
"I liked her a lot and told her that she has to be more aggressive offensively," he said. "I think she'll thrive in this kind of environment."
Allen was taken with the Liberty's first pick in the second round after starring for the Irish and starting all four years at the school.
"I think it has a lot of similarities with Notre Dame," said Allen of potentially being counted on right away. "My team there I had the senior leaders around me. Skylar (Diggins) was in town so I could talk to her any time I wanted to. Obviously here we have great vets with Tina Charles and Sugar Rodgers."
Allen's first game as a pro will come against Diggins and the Dallas Wings on Friday. She sat behind the Liberty bench Tuesday, cheering on her teammates and taking in the game to see what she can do to help going forward.
"I'm going to see what I can do to help this team win," Allen said.