FGCU's Julien Inks Training Camp Deal With WNBA's Atlanta Dream

ATLANTA - Rosemarie Julien, a 5-11 senior guard from the FGCU women's basketball team, has signed a training camp contract with the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA.

In doing so, she becomes just the second player in program history to join a WNBA training camp, joining Whitney Knight, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016 and later participated in training camp with the Atlanta Dream in 2017.

"It is a tremendous accomplishment to get invited to a WNBA camp," FGCU head coach Karl Smesko said. "Rose was invited to multiple camps, but she felt most comfortable with the Atlanta Dream and Coach Collen."

In signing with the Dream, Julien (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast HS) becomes one of the 15 maximum allowable players on the roster when training camps open around the league on April 29. Preseason games will take place May 4-15 and the final roster cut-down deadline to 12 players is May 17 at 5 p.m. The regular season opens the following day.

"It isn't easy to make a WNBA roster, but Rose's skill set will give her a chance," Smesko said. "I think she is the best ball-screen defender coming out of college this year. She has great defensive versatility by being able to guard multiple positions.  Rose has tremendous practice habits, and she is great for team chemistry and organizational culture. She is also a good three-point shooter who can also attack the rim. If she displays all these things in camp, I feel she has a real shot of making the team."

The Atlanta franchise is coached by former FGCU assistant basketball coach Nicki Collen, who was named the Dream's head coach on Oct. 30, 2017. This will be her first season with the team following a pair of successful campaigns as an assistant coach with the Connecticut Sun. She spent two seasons with the Eagles coaching staff from 2014-16, helping lead the program to back-to-back 30 plus win seasons.

Julien, who was named the ASUN's preseason player of the year, is coming off a season in which she averaged a team-high 13.2 points along with 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 36 games. She produced double-digit point totals in 26 of 36 games while shooting 157-for-357 (.440) from the field and 72-for-209 (.344) from 3-point range. Her 476 points is the eighth most in a single season in program history. As a junior, she broke the program's Division-I era single-game scoring record with 36 points against Stetson on Jan. 7 en route to averaging 11 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. 

In her two-year career, Julien led the team in scoring twice while compiling 862 points over just 71 career games after transferring in from Chipola College. She ranks 12th all-time on the program's career scoring list and sixth in career average (12.1/game). She also finished her career second all-time in free throw percentage (146-for-180, .811), ninth in games started (71), ninth in field goal percentage (.456, 297-for-652), 12th in field goals made (297) and 12th in field goals attempted (652). She was also fourth in single season free throw percentage (.826) in 2017-18.

Overall, Julien was a two-time First Team All-ASUN pick, including a unanimous selection in 2017-18. She was a three-time ASUN player of the week, a three-time ASUN newcomer of the week and was named the ASUN's newcomer of the year as a junior. As a senior, she earned a spot on the ASUN's All-Tournament team after producing 19 points in a championship game win over No. 2 seed Jacksonville.

Behind Julien's scoring, as well as her ability to defend at an elite level, FGCU finished 31-5 overall in 2017-18 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where the Eagles knocked off Missouri in the first round and subsequently advanced to the second round for just the second time in program history. They also captured the eighth ASUN regular season championship and fifth ASUN tournament title in program history. The Green and Blue broke the NCAA's single season 3-point field goal record with 431 from long range, while earning the No. 1 ranking in both the CollegeInsider.com and espnW mid-major polls during the season. They concluded the year No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

WHITNEY KNIGHT
Knight (Winston Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds HS) was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft, which was the third pick in the second round. She made the team and played seven games that year before moving on to the San Antonio Stars from August until the end of the season. The 6-3 guard/forward signed a training camp contract with the Atlanta Dream in February 2017, but was waived on May 6. Most recently, Knight signed with Breidablik of the Icelandic Urvalsdeild kvenna league on Jan. 27 of this year.

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