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Czech Republic: Brno Sign Taj McWilliams

02 November 2004

For the first time in its eleven year history, Czech club Gambrinus JME Brno has signed an American player. She is none other than 34 year-old Taj McWilliams-Franklin who has years of European experience and who played this summer for WNBA runners-up Connecticut Sun.

McWillaims with General Manager Jiri Hamza
McWilliams attended her first practice this morning with the Czech champions at the Rosnicka gym in Brno. Afterwards she was presented with a club shirt with her number 11 by the manager, Jiri Hamza. McWilliams has signed in Brno for one year with another one year option.

"I want to help the Brno team get to the Final Four. From the Czech team I only know Romana Hamzova as we played one season together in Orlando four years ago. But Hamzova has finished her active career after the Olympic games and is expecting her second baby now," said McWilliams, herself the mother of two daughters.

The elder, Michelle, is sixteen, the younger, Maja, is only two years old.

"My family live in Italy and I will be in Brno alone. But I will go home for short rest every months," said McWilliams.

She will play her first game in the Czech league in Hradec Kralove on Wednesday and Brno will start in the EuroLeague next week against Polish Wisla Krakow.

McWilliams has played in Europe twelve years: she was four years in Italy - three seasons with Schio and last year in Parma - and she has also played in Germany, Spain, Luxemburg and Greece.

Coach Jan Bobrovsky is satisfied with his new player.

"Last season we had a lot of problems with our inside players. Our shooting from a short distance and rebounds were bad. Taj is excellent player and shooter and our aim for this season is to reach the Final Four," he said.

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