Together, the duo off the bench helped the Spaniards to a 6-2 record in this year’s Olympic Games. The previous best for wins in a single Olympics for the Spaniards came in the 2004 Games when it posted four victories (unfortunately all in group play). In that year Spain went 4-1 in group qualification, defeating the Czech Republic (80-78), China (75-67), New Zealand (91-57) and South Korea (64-61).
The journey to Spain’s ascension is traced with Romero and Rodriguez’s involvement. In the 2011 Eurobasket prior to their arrival, Spain finished 10th among 16 European teams and failed to qualify for the Olympics. Two years later, however, it emerged to win the 2013 Eurobasket, it’s first Euro title since 1993.
The important FIBA World Championship in Turkey followed in 2014, the first time Romero and Rodriguez earned a spot on the Spanish National Team. Spain once again took control, defeating host Turkey in the semifinals but falling to the United States (77-64) in the championship game. Without a championship, Spain still needed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
A loss to France in the 2015 Eurobasket semifinals eventually resulted in a third-place finish, but Spain would qualify this past summer in the qualifying tournament held in France. Rodriguez got a chance to shine once more, finishing with a game-high 24 points in an 83-55 win over Venezuela, helping solidify her spot on the Olympic roster.
Romero and Rodriguez join FSU Track & Field’s Alonzo Russell (4×400) and Stephen Newbold (4×400) as medalists in Rio. The two women’s basketball representatives became the 11th and 12th Olympic medalists from FSU.
The duo also became the first FSU members to finish with a silver medal at the Summer Olympic Games since Kim Batten earned silver in the 400m hurdles in Atlanta in 1996.