The WNBA is celebrating its 15th season of basketball and will use the season to honor the Top 15 Players in WNBA history. Tuesday night the league announced the 30 nominees for the Top 15 slots and four former Sacramento Monarchs were included. The final 15 will be determined by a combination of a fan vote and select national and WNBA-market media. Fans can start voting at WNBA.com on Thursday June 23 at 9:00am pacific. Voting will last through 9pm pacific on July 14. The Top 15 players will be unveiled at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game in San Antonio on ABC.
The four Monarchs on the nomination list are Ruthie Bolton, Yolanda Griffith, Ticha Penicheiro and Tangela Smith.
Ruthie Bolton spent her entire career with the Monarchs, playing for Sacramento from 1997 to 2004. Over the course of 218 games, Bolton averaged 10.0 points per game, 1.6 assists, 1.17 and 3.10 rebounds. Bolton was a two time All Star with one appearance as a starter. Her best season came her rookie year when she averaged 19.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.35 steals per game.
Yolanda Griffith played for Sacramento from 1999-2007 before wrapping up her career in Seattle in 2008 and Indiana in 2009. At present she is fourth all-time in league history in total rebounds with 2,444 and first all time in offensive rebounds with1,049. Griffith is also fifth all time in steals, joining Lisa Leslie as the only centers ranked in the top ten all time. She ranks 14th all time in total points.
Ticha Penicheiro played for Sacramento from 1998 to 2009 and currently plays for the Los Angeles Sparks. In her now 14 year career, Penicheiro is the landslide leader in total assists. Her 2,417 assists are almost 800 more than second place Sue Bird. She is also the league's all-time leader in steals with 732 and is a four-time All Star.
Tangela Smith played for Sacramento from 1998 to 2004 and is currently playing for Indiana. She currently ranks sixth all time in total points, sixth in total rebounds and 12th all time in blocked shots.