FLINT (WJRT) -
(06/04/14) - The Flint Monarchs are ready to take flight as Mid-Michigan's first ever women's professional basketball team.
"It's super exciting. Saturday, 4 p.m. here at Mott College. We are ready to go, ready to play and ready to bring a lot of positivity to our city," said Jasmine McCall, Flint Monarchs guard.
The Monarchs aren't entirely new. The team competed at the semi-pro level for the last three years, and is now jumping into the pro ranks as members of the newly formed WABA.
"It's a great stepping stone for all these girls to take a step overseas and to one day, hopefully get that call to the WNBA," said Bill Schnorenberg, Monarchs coach.
The ladies have been taking to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in hopes of drawing a big crowd for Saturday's opener against Chicago. The Monarch's roster is loaded with Mid-Michigan talent - most of whom have played division one college basketball.
"Brandi Baker went to Central, she got a shot with the LA Sparks. We have Tara Johnson and India Harrison. They played at Eastern Michigan. Jasmine Thomas, she played at Hamady. She went to Michigan State. She was all Big Ten," Schnorenberg said.
Also on the team - Linnell Jones-Mckinney, the first woman from Flint to play professionally overseas. She's coming out retirement at the age of 55.
"I'm back. Yeah, it's awesome and wonderful, a great opportunity. I thank God for giving me the strength to do this, because it's a challenge," she said.
Jones-Mckinney's biggest claim to fame - scoring 94 points in a single game. She's hoping for maybe two more than that on Saturday.
The Flint Monarchs have four home games scheduled for their inaugural season.