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Former women’s basketball player signs pro contract in Great Britain

Former Toledo women’s basketball player Janice Monakana has signed a professional contract to play for the Nottingham Wildcats in her home country of Great Britain.

The Wildcats announced the roster move Aug. 29 as they look to mount a challenge for their third straight Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) title.

Monakana

Monakana becomes the sixth UT women’s basketball player to play professionally under three-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Tricia Cullop, joining Melissa Goodall (Italy and Spain), Naama Shafir (Israel), Andola Dortch (Belarus), Inma Zanoguera (Italy) and most recently Brenae Harris (Spain) on that list.

“I’m truly ecstatic to have Janice on board with us as we prepare for this tough season ahead,” said Nottingham Head Coach Dave Greenaway in a statement on the team’s official website. “Janice has the capability to make big plays and will be a factor in us achieving any success. Her college career was littered with honors, and she captained her side to winning the MAC Tournament.”

The Women’s British Basketball League is an initiative between the British Basketball League, Basketball England and the top 10 women’s clubs in Great Britain. It is the top-level women’s basketball league in the United Kingdom.

This past year, Monakana averaged 12.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 1.4 steals in 25.5 minutes per game. The 2016-17 second-team All-MAC honoree ranked seventh in the league in free-throw percentage (.785, 106 of 135), 20th in overall rebounding and 21st in scoring.

Monakana led Toledo to the fifth most wins in program history in 2016-17 with a mark of 25-9 that included a MAC Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2001.

A two-time all-conference performer, Monakana wrapped up her UT career ninth in school history in free-throw percentage (.777, 313 of 403), 10th in free throws made (313) and 16th in scoring (1,172 points).

“Nottingham is a team I’ve always admired and respected, so I’m excited for the opportunity to bring my talents to them and also the Women’s British Basketball League,” said Monakana in a statement on the team’s official website. “I’m looking forward to the season starting and will bring competitiveness, explosive play, and versatility on the offensive and defensive end, as well as experience and adding depth.”