FORSSA, Finland—Former UMBC women's basketball standout Carlee Cassidy (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) last week signed a professional contract with Forssan Alku Basketball Club in Finland.
"I am extremely excited about starting my professional career," Cassidy said. "It has been my dream to play overseas, and I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to play here in Finland. I am looking forward to having a great rest of the season and a strong start to my career."
Forssan Alku is currently 7-7 on the season and in fifth place in D1, the top division in Finland. The season runs from October to March, and Cassidy's first game will be this Saturday, Jan. 8.
A three-time America East All-Conference selection and two-time America East All-Academic honoree, Cassidy graduated last May after putting together one of the best four-year careers in UMBC women's basketball history in which she averaged 13.7 points per game. The 5-9 guard holds UMBC's career records for 3-pointers (248), 3-point attempts (769) and games played (119). In addition, she ranks among UMBC's all-time leaders in many other categories, with school Division I records for points (1,627), free throws (347) and field goals attempted (1,441).
In addition, after leading the Retrievers to their first-ever America East title as a freshman with four 3-pointers in the championship game, Cassidy earned a spot on the all-tournament team. That performance proved to be a springboard for the rest of her career, as she led the league in scoring as a sophomore (17.0 ppg) and junior (20.4 ppg) and set UMBC single-season records for points (613), 3-pointers (80) and free throws (175) during her junior year.
"We are so proud that Carlee is getting an opportunity to start her professional career in Finland," UMBC head coach Phil Stern said. "She has meant so much to this program, and we look forward to following her as she embarks on this new, exciting chapter of her life."
Cassidy is the third Retriever to play overseas during Stern's nine-year tenure at UMBC, joining Tiffany Coll and Mariana Santos. Coll played in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal, whileSantos competed in Portugal.
Cassidy joins fellow Syracuse native Judy Wright as the only Americans on Forssan Alku. In addition, she will play alongside a former opponent in Juta Jahilo, who played at America East rival Binghamtonfrom 2004-08.