FLINT, MI – A new champion has been crowned in the Women's American Basketball Association, and guess where they're from? Flint, Michigan.
The Flint Monarchs finished its first season in the WABA with a league title, and an undefeated 8-0 record.
On Sunday, Aug. 10, Flint ran through the Chicago Lady Steam, 90-67, to capture the title in front of a few hundred spectators at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois.
"These girls gave up a lot of their game for the greater good to win a championship and it was probably the most unselfish effort we've had all year and it was a joy to watch," said Monarchs coach Bill Schnorenberg. "Our goal is to win a championship every year. If you're not willing to put in the sacrifice to try to win a championship, then I don't know why you're playing."
There wasn't a playoff system set for the WABA Finals, the two best teams were determined based on their performances in the six-team league. The Monarchs made history by joining the WABA for its re-launch season as the city's first professional team for women's basketball.
The WABA is certainly below the Women's National Basketball Association and fought through growing pains this year, struggling to build a solid fan base for consistent attendance and other problems, but will be back next year with the defending champions from Flint looking to repeat.
A few expansion teams are expected to join the league, too, which will make it even more competitive.
Everything didn't go as planned as far as marketing and promotion but Monarchs President and General Manager Dreyon Wynn is already in talks with WABA CEO Sonya Nichols on ways to make improvements.
"We know there will be some changes, but the interest is a lot more in the Flint Monarchs now than it was a year ago," Schnorenberg said. "We're just going to build on that. To win championships and to compete will always be the goal of the organization.
"From Year 1 to Year 2 will be better," he added. "We took care of business but we know that the league will only be better. Now that it's made it through a year there's interest now. We're not going anywhere. We did something positive for the city."