This week’s Rookie Report is a little different. There’s only one active player on today’s list: Marine Johannès. After representing France at EuroBasket Women this summer, Johannès made her long-awaited WNBA debut on July 12 for the New York Liberty. So far, she’s living up to the hype.
But the other two players aren’t quite rookies — at least, not anymore. The first, Shey Peddy, was a rookie until being cut last week, and she could still be picked up by another team. Her story, though, is worth a closer look. Then there’s Megan Huff, the 2019 Utah graduate who has never played in a regular-season WNBA game. Despite that, her career is taking a unique and historic trajectory as she awaits another chance in the league.
Here is this week’s rookie — and two non-rookies — to keep an eye on:
Marine Johannès, New York Liberty
After turning in a 9.2 points-per-game performance representing France at FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019, Marine Johannès picked up her first WNBA minutes on July 12. In her debut — and in just 16 minutes — Johannès put up 10 points and dished three assists. Though she followed that up with a seven-point performance in the Liberty’s next game, a far cry from her 15.1 points per game for Tango Bourges Basket in France, it’s clear that Johannès is here to play.
Like many international players who come to the WNBA, Johannès already had experience playing with — and against — WNBA talent. In the last year, she played alongside Liberty teammates Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Bria Hartley for Bourges Basket and Team France, respectively; she also twice faced off against Russian superteam UMMC Ekaterinburg, which boasts the likes of Brittney Griner, Kayla McBride and Courtney Vandersloot, to name just a few WNBA stars.
Johannès’ impact on the WNBA has yet to be seen, but with her pedigree — and the efforts she’s already turned in — New York is lucky to have her.
See her play: The Liberty host the Sparks on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET (NBA TV).
Shey Peddy, Washington Mystics (formerly)
Four countries and two WNBA cuts later, 30-year-old Shey Peddy made her WNBA debut last month as the Washington Mystics sought a temporary replacement for Emma Meesseman and Kim Mestdagh, while both were away at EuroBasket Women. While only playing in eight games and scoring in just three of them, Peddy’s one-month stint with the Mystics — who originally cut her during training camp in 2013 — was still special. Kristi Toliver noted her veteran-like presence and high basketball IQ, honed over her years playing overseas. Most recently, Peddy was the seventh-leading scorer in EuroLeague, playing for TTT Riga in Latvia.
But when Meesseman and Mestdagh returned from international duty, Peddy found herself off the team ... but not really off the team. Mystics head coach Mike Thibault found a place for Peddy on the team’s coaching staff, where she now serves as a video and analytics assistant. Peddy could still be claimed off waivers by another team, but as coaching is one of her other career goals, this is an excellent place for her to be in the meantime.
See her coach: The Mystics play the Fever on Friday at 7 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network).
Megan Huff, New York Liberty (formerly)
In her two years at Utah, Megan Huff did everything she could to get the WNBA’s attention. She was named to the All-Pac-12 first team both years, racked up 1,029 career points and helped lead the Utes to an 18-1 start in her senior season.
And it worked: Huff was drafted 26th overall by the New York Liberty, making her the sixth player drafted into the WNBA in Utah’s history. She played in all four of the Liberty’s preseason games, converting a three-pointer in each of the games against China and the Connecticut Sun before being held scoreless in the last two contests. Huff, along with Kelly Faris and Bianca Cuevas-Moore, were among the second-to-last round of players waived by the Liberty.
But that wasn’t the end of Huff’s professional career in 2019, or even this summer. On July 11, Seattle Storm owner Force 10 Sports Management announced the creation of the first independently-owned professional women’s 3x3 team in the country: Force 10. This time, Huff — alongside recent WNBA players Cierra Burdick, Linnae Harper and Alexis Peterson — made the cut.