Bracey Signs Professional Contract in Greece
Aug. 13, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - Former Illinois State forward Ashleen Bracey has signed a contract to play professional basketball in Greece. Bracey will play for DAS Ano Liosia in the Greek A1 League this season.
"I chose this particular team in Greece because it was the best fit for me, a rookie, looking to compete at the highest level." Bracey said. "My agent is very good at what he does and negotiated a great deal. My Greek coach, Angelo Giannoulaki, is known for developing young players into pro players. The last couple of Americans that have played for him have signed WNBA contracts. This is definitely the best situation for me to begin my pro career."
DAS Ano Liosia was 14-10 last season and finished in sixth place in the A1 League, the top women's league in Greece. Ano Liosia is a northwest suburb of Athens with a population of more than 26,000. Bracey will be joined on the roster by American players Diana Delva (Hartford) and May Kotsopoulos (Vermont).
Bracey amassed 1,194 points and 765 rebounds in 119 career games, ranking 20th and fifth in the all-time ISU ranks, respectively. She recorded 21 double-doubles, the fourth-most in school history, and was a first-team All-Valley selection as a senior.
After her career at ISU ended, Bracey knew she wanted to continue playing as a professional and explored many different options.
"My agent was working on another opportunity in Spain, but the Greek team offered first and I signed about two weeks after," Bracey said. "I had some interest from a team in Germany and a team in Portugal as well. Greece and Spain are both top women's basketball leagues and I felt the opportunity to play in Greece, where both my brothers have played, in a big city like Athens was best for me."
International basketball is nothing new for the Bracey family. Both of Bracey's brothers, Bryan and Christopher, played professionally in Europe after college careers.
"The past four years absolutely flew by and it is really hard transitioning into a Redbird fan and having to watch the `Birds play rather than be out there with them," Bracey said. "There will never be any feeling like that again. However, I still have a burning passion to play ball. I want to continue to grow as a player and hopefully reach the highest level. I am very excited to play in Greece, explore a new country and continue to improve my skills."
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