Opening week for the Flint Monarchs, 4-time defending GWBA champs

by Marc Jacobson

FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (06/04/18)--The fight for the five-pete begins now. The Flint Monarchs are back for a new season. The four-time defending Global Women's Basketball Association champs have their home opener on Saturday against Milwaukee at 4 o'clock.

"We already had our first victory this past weekend at Illinois. We're looking to sweep the season and go for our fifth national title," said Monarchs head coach Nicole Randolph.

The Monarchs got in an early morning practice at Baker College in Flint Township Monday, before heading out to build support for the season. The ladies are hoping to draw big crowds to their new home at the Dort Event Center in Flint.

"That building, I've never seen a women's team in there. It's a big arena, so it should be very exciting," said Hamady High School graduate Morgan Neeley.

The Monarchs roster is filled with players from Division One schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Central Michigan. Not to mention Oakland U, including Goodrich High School graduate Taylor Gleason.

"I got the opportunity to play on two-state championship teams and come back to the area of Flint and am excited to play in front of my hometown fans," said Gleason.

"We have a couple girls who did have opportunities with the WNBA. With the talent pool we have, we're looking to get them back into the WNBA or to play overseas," said Randolph.

Linell Jones-Mckinney is back as an assistant coach . The Flint native heads to Tennesee in a few days for her induction into the National Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

"It's huge. We're making history. We're bringing sports back to the city. We're giving people hope. It's a positive thing," said Jones-McKinney.

Her mission for the Monarchs this summer is to work closely with Flint area kids.

"We'll mentor them and teach them how to play the game and develope their skills. That's going to be held at the Sylvestor Broome Empowerment Village," said Jones-McKinney.

Opening week for the Flint Monarchs, 4-time defending GWBA champs