Move over, Maddie the Dog. There’s a new Liberty mascot in town, and she’s here to remind the nation — nay, the world — of New York’s original spirit.
In time for tipoff to its 25th anniversary season, the New York Liberty — now based in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan under the ownership of husband-and-wife team Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai — have unveiled a new mascot befitting the times.
Meet Ellie the Elephant!
Ellie’s name pays homage to the history of Ellis Island: a beacon of hope for immigrants arriving in America in pursuit of the American Dream. From ships approaching New York ports after grueling trans-Atlantic journeys, immigrants were welcomed by a literal beacon: the torch held by the Statue of Liberty.
The new face of the Liberty franchise, Sabrina Ionescu, is a daughter of immigrants. Her parents emigrated from Romania and settled in Walnut Creek, Calif.
“As the newest member of the New York Liberty family, Ellie is symbolic of the franchise’s long-awaited journey to Brooklyn,” Liberty CEO Keia Clarke said. “While Maddie will remain an integral part of this 25th anniversary season, we are proud to introduce Ellie to our loyal fanbase.
The Liberty also stated in its press release (emphasis theirs):
“Elephants represent strength, power, wisdom, and determination. They are also praised for their longevity, stamina, cooperative spirit, and loyalty — all attributes that are synonymous with the New York Liberty’s journey to Brooklyn, the players and loyal fans.”
In a twist of cuteness, Ellie is also short for “elephant,” a touch kids of all ages should love.
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