Leah Porath, the most decorated player in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh women’s basketball history, has signed a professional contract with the Martini Sparks of the Vrouwen Basketball League.
The Martini Sparks are based in Haren, Netherlands. The nine-team VBL is the highest-tier league in the Netherlands. The Sparks, who have an 0-3 record to open the season, were established in 2018.
“I am truly honored to have this opportunity to continue my basketball career,” said Porath, a native of New London. “I would like to thank my family for their endless encouragement and support through my years in sports. I would also like to thank my UWO coaches and teammates for helping me achieve this dream of mine.”
Porath, who graduated in May with a marketing and supply chain management degree, was named an NCAA Division III All-American on six occasions and was a finalist for the 2022 Jostens Trophy. Porath received All-America accolades in 2020, 2021 and 2022 from both the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and D3hoops.com.
“I could not be prouder or more excited for Leah,” UWO 11th-year head coach Brad Fischer said. “She is everything you want in someone who represents your program. She went from on the fringe of the rotation as a freshman to a professional basketball player.
Leah is completely self-made and continuously worked her way to becoming one of the best players in the country. She has set herself up for so much success in life when her basketball career ends, but Leah proved you can do anything through UW-Oshkosh. We can’t wait to watch her in the Netherlands.”
The 2020 and 2021 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Porath capped her standout career as UWO’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,405 points as the Titans produced a 98-29 record during a remarkable run from 2017-22 that featured three WIAC Tournament championships, two league regular season titles, a pair of trips to the Sweet 16 of the Division III Championship before helping lead the Titans to an Elite Eight appearance in 2022.
“Being part of high-level program for the past five years has prepared me to be successful at the professional level,” Porath said. “I am looking forward to this new adventure and to be able to grow as a basketball player and as a person.”
Porath and the Martini Sparks have 15 games remaining on the 2022-23 regular season schedule.