Miami Sol (WNBA)

The Miami Sol was a short-lived yet memorable WNBA franchise that operated from 2000 to 2002. Despite their brief existence, the Sol made an impact on the league with their defensive prowess and international roster. Here’s a look back at the team’s history and the international players who were part of the journey.

Franchise Overview and Accomplishments

  • Founded: 2000
  • Folded: 2002
  • Arena: American Airlines Arena
  • Head Coach: Ron Rothstein
  • Team Colors: Pink, black, and white

The Miami Sol was one of four expansion teams introduced in 2000, joining the Portland Fire, Seattle Storm, and Indiana Fever. Under head coach Ron Rothstein, the team quickly established a reputation for strong defense and disciplined play.

Notable Accomplishments:

  • In the 2001 season, the Sol made their only playoff appearance, finishing third in the Eastern Conference with a 20-12 record.
  • The Sol had the league’s best defense in 2001, allowing just 57.6 points per game.

International Players on the Miami Sol Roster

Despite a relatively short tenure, the Sol featured several international players who made notable contributions to the franchise.

Elena Baranova (Russia)

  • Baranova averaged 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game across three seasons.
  • She was named an All-Star in 2001.
  • In 2001, she led the team to their only playoff appearance while finishing second in the league in blocks per game (2.1).

Sandy Brondello (Australia)

  • Averaged 6.3 points and 1.3 assists per game in her two seasons with the team.
  • Was known for her three-point shooting, with a career 36.5% average from beyond the arc.

Milena Flores (Chile)

  • She averaged 2.0 points and 2.6 assists per game.
  • Was known for her defensive tenacity and leadership as a reserve guard.

Conclusion: Legacy of the Miami Sol

The Miami Sol’s legacy is marked by a strong defensive identity, bolstered by international talent like Elena Baranova, Sandy Brondello, and Milena Flores. Although the team folded after the 2002 season due to financial difficulties, their contribution to WNBA history remains noteworthy.

Despite their brief run, the Sol proved that international players could thrive in the league and set the stage for future global stars to shine on the WNBA platform.