The American Basketball League, caught in a bidding war with the Women’s National Basketball Association, will announce today in Seattle its second major signing in a week - Naismith Award winner Kate Starbird of Stanford.
ABL sources confirmed Monday the 6-foot-2 Starbird has agreed to a three-year deal and will play for the Seattle Reign next season. Starbird’s hometown is Tacoma.
Last week, the ABL signed Katrina McClain, the No. 2 scorer on the 1996 Olympic team.
ABL sources also said the league is “in good shape” on possibly signing two more All-America seniors, 6-2 DeLisha Milton of Florida and 6-7 Kara Wolters of Connecticut.
The war for Wolters’ signature is perhaps the hottest.
In the ABL, she would play for New England, a team that averaged more than 5,000 paid last season but says it would average 8,000-10,000 with Wolters, who is from Holliston, Mass.
Said one agent, “The WNBA has drawn a line in the sand over Wolters - they’ll sign her no matter what it takes.”
USC’s Tina Thompson is still wavering between the leagues, sources said.
Several agents agreed Starbird and Thompson will make more than $100,000, no matter which league signed them.
Stanford point guard Jamila Wideman signed with the WNBA on Monday after arriving in Orlando, Fla., for a threeday combine. The NBA-owned league drafts next Monday and begins June 21.
Her decision was not an easy one.
“Right away we were confronted with all these issues in entering a professional world,” she said.
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