Hollie Grima and Carly Wilson of Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Ink Sacramento Deals
Monarchs Sign Two Top Australian Players
SACRAMENTO, MARCH 9, 2005 – The Sacramento Monarchs today announced that Hollie Grima and Carly Wilson of Australia have signed contracts with the franchise. The addition of Grima and Wilson increases the number of international players on the Monarchs roster to six (Ticha Penicheiro – Portugal, Hamchétou Maïga – Mali, West Africa, Sui Feifei and Miao Lijie – China).

Grima, the 22-year-old, 6-2 center, recently finished her fifth season in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) and has played for the Bulleen Melbourne Boomers for the past two seasons. She concluded the 2004-05 season among the Top 10 in MVP votes for the WNBL while averaging 16.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Women’s National Basketball League All-Star (2002-03), Wilson, has helped guide the Dandenong Rangers to two consecutive WNBL Championships. This 5-9, 23-year-old guard has played in the WNBL for seven seasons and was recently honored with the Janine Fielder Award, voted on by her teammates and was also the recipient of the Coaches Award by her team for the 2004-05 season. Wilson averaged 11.8 points, 4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game this past year.

“Carly and Hollie have played in the WNBL with the likes of Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor. Based on the success of Jackson and Taylor we think Carly and Hollie will have a great future in the WNBA,” said Sacramento Monarchs Head Coach and General Manager John Whisenant. “Carly’s WNBL team won back-to-back championships and Hollie’s team lost in the semi-finals this past season. We can’t wait to see how they will perform in training camp.”

The all-time WNBA international players lists boasts 18 Australians (through 2004), 16% of the all-time global roster. All-Star Michele Timms, the first Australian in the WNBA, played for the Phoenix Mercury (1997-2001) and was ranked among the Top Five in assists per game during her first three seasons. Sandy Brondello, a 1999 WNBA All-Star, played five seasons in the league and currently ranks third all-time in WNBA career three-point field goal percentage.

Four-year WNBA veteran, Penny Taylor, was a member of the 2002 All-Star team, currently plays for Phoenix, while Seattle’s three-time All-Star and 2003 WNBA MVP, Lauren Jackson (2001-current) has led the league in scoring for the past two years.

Grima and Wilson join fellow 2004-05 WNBL players Jessica Bibby (Seattle) and Katria Hibbert (Indiana) who have newly signed with WNBA teams this season. Both Bibby (New York 2000-01) and Hibbert (Seattle 2000) already have WNBA experience.

The Sacramento Monarchs first regular season home game will be on Saturday, June 4, at ARCO Arena when the Monarchs host the Los Angeles Sparks at 1:00 p.m. in a game to be nationally televised on ABC.

Fans are asked to call (916) 419-WNBA for information about season ticket plans. For more information, please visit the Monarchs website at www.SacramentoMonarchs.com.