Can they dunk? Absolutely, and then some.

That is often the first question asked about players in the fledgling Women's National Basketball Association, which tips off in Utah Saturday night as the hometown Starzz host the Sacramento Monarchs in the Delta Center.Big-league, professional women's basketball is here. It promises a great show.

Utah is fortunate to have garnered one of eight WNBA franchises, which arrives on the heels of the finest Jazz season ever. If the Starzz' timing on the court is as good as it is off, capitalizing on Beehive basketball fever, it should be a successful debut.

Besides boasting outstanding athletes and an exciting, up-tempo style of play, the WNBA and the Starzz benefit from their NBA affiliation and marketing support.

"We got next" - pickup game talk for next on the court - was heard and seen by tens of millions of potential fans in commercials aired during the NBA playoffs. Besides being catchy, it is symbolic of women's wait to be able to step into the professional arena and receive compensation for their able talents, after too many years on the sidelines.

A good share of the hoop junkies who have lived and died with the Jazz this season should avail themselves to the new league and fill the Delta Center for opening night. If brisk ticket sales to date are any indication, the Starzz' bottom line will be a winner.

Here's hoping that the team will soar both on and off the court. Welcome to Utah, Starzz.