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WBK | 2017-18 Season Countdown: #7

Nov. 3, 2017 counts down to Opening Day of the 2017-18 Women’s Basketball Season on Nov. 10 with 10 stories on 10 days to prepare fans for another year of Gaels basketball

MORAGA, Calif. —’s countdown to the 2017-18 season continues with a look at the Gaels’ seven most recent players to move on and play professionally:

1. Devon Brookshire (2015-17) – Ireland

Former Gaels forward Devon Brookshire signed a professional contract in the summer of 2017 with the Liffey Celtics of the Irish Women’s Super League. Brookshire concluded her collegiate basketball career with SMC after two seasons following a transfer from Northwestern. She helped Saint Mary’s reach the postseason in consecutive years while logging back-to-back 20-win seasons. She was named All-West Coast Conference honorable mention in 2015-16 and was twice named to the WCC All-Academic Team.

2. Lauren Nicholson (2012-16) – Australia

Lauren Nicholson was a two-time first team all-WCC player for the Gaels and finished as one of the program’s all-time greatest scorers when her career concluded in 2016. That summer, she signed a professional contract with her hometown Sydney Uni Flames. In her first year as a pro, Nicholson helped lead the Flames to the 2016-17 WNBL title. She played 23 minutes off the bench in the WNBL championship-clinching game. She scored seven points with a 3-pointer and also grabbed seven rebounds and two steals.

3. Hannah Kaser (2012-16) – Switzerland

Hannah Kaser most recently played professionally in Switzerland, where she was a member of the BC Arlesheim team. Kaser played in 108 games for the Gaels over her four-year career. She was one of the Gaels’ best 3-point shooters in her senior season of 2015-16, hitting over 40 percent of her treys. She also shot 78.9 percent from the free-throw line as she contributed to the Gaels’ greatest offensive season in program history.

4. Carli Rosenthal (2011-15) – Portugal

Carli Rosenthal, one of the greatest rebounders of all-time at Saint Mary’s, most recently played professionally in Portugal, where she spent the 2016-17 season with the Sport Lisboa Benfica team in Lisbon. She has also played professionally in Denmark. Rosenthal finished No. 10 all-time in career rebounds at Saint Mary’s with 727. She also posted the 10th-most rebounds in a single season with 276 in 2014-15. Rosenthal’s got international experience while at Saint Mary’s when she won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

5. Jackie Nared (2011-14) – Belgium

Another Saint Mary’s all-time great, Jackie Nared, has been playing professionally in multiple countries in recent years. Nared played in Switzerland for the Fizzy Riva Muraltese club in 2016-17. This season she will feature her talents in Belgium for the Declercq Stortbeton Waregem club. Nared set the Saint Mary’s single-season scoring record in 2013-14 with 677 points. She finished fifth all-time in career points (1,653) and seventh in rebounds (771).

6. Kate Gaze (2009-14) – Australia

Kate Gaze has played professionally in her native Australia for the past three years since she finished her career at Saint Mary’s in 2014. She started her pro career with the Townsville Fire, winning back-to-back WNBL titles in 2014-15 and ’15-’16. This year she continues with the team she joined last season, the Canberra Capitals. Gaze finished her SMC career as one of the best 3-point shooters the Gaels ever had. Her 195 career 3-pointers made are second all-time at Saint Mary’s, and her 38.2 3-point percentage is seventh.

7. Louella Tomlinson (2007-11) – Australia

Saint Mary’s all-time leading scorer and former NCAA blocks record holder Louella Tomlinson signed a one-year contract this summer to play with the Melbourne Boomers in her native Australia. It marks her return to Australia’s WNBL after she played several years in Europe (Spain, Hungary). Tomlinson broke into the professional ranks in 2011-12 in the WNBL and won a championship with the Dandenong Rangers after her record-setting career from 2007-11 wrapped up at Saint Mary’s.

IN THE BONUS: Serena Benavente (2003-08) – Germany

Benavente wrapped up a successful eight-year professional career this summer, ending it in the best of ways – with a European championship and a Most Valuable Player award to boot. Benavente played her entire professional career with Germany’s AXSE BasCats USC Heidelberg club. She averaged 10.9 points, 3.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game last season in leading Heidelberg to a 23-1 record and a Division II Euro title. Benavente averaged 12.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals during her career, helping elevate Heidelberg from a Division III club to a Division I team this upcoming season.

Benavente isn’t done though. She will return to Germany this season to work with Heidelberg as an assistant coach. She has also served as a strength and conditioning coach for the Heidelberg men’s team. Benavente played for Saint Mary’s from 2003-08 and she still ranks sixth all-time in career assists (309) and ninth in assists per game (2.8) after being named both to the WCC All-Freshmen team and WCC Honorable Mention during her career.



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