TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Women’s Basketball’s overseas influence took a giant leap on Monday when it was announced that current sophomore guard Leticia Romero and former guard Leonor Rodriguez will represent the Spanish Women’s National Team at the upcoming FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey.
Known as the ultimate international competition for basketball, the FIBA World Championship for Women runs from Sept. 27-Oct. 5 in the cities of Ankara and Istanbul. The tournament will be broadcast on WatchESPN.com as well as through the WatchESPN app, making customers of wireless providers that include Comcast XFINITY, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Verizon, Google Fiber and more eligible to watch the games for free.
Romero and Rodriguez have each played in several FIBA competitions, but are making their debuts with the Spanish Women’s National Team. Spain has been placed in Group A with Brazil, the Czech Republic and Japan, and plays its first game this Saturday, Sept. 27, at 9:15 a.m. ET against Japan.
“Playing in the FIBA World Championship is one of the ultimate goals for any basketball player,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I’m so proud to have a current player in Leti and a former player in Leo get the opportunity to once again represent their countries, but on the biggest stage in international basketball. These two players have such a strong passion for our sport and have driven themselves to compete in such a prestigious competition. Spain has developed into one of the best basketball-playing countries in the world, so to have two Seminoles represented on its national team is an enormous honor.”
On Sunday, both players will look to help Spain get off to a fast start in the tournament when it faces Brazil at 2:15 p.m. ET in its second matchup. The following Tuesday, Sept. 30, Spain will battle the Czech Republic at 9:15 a.m. ET before the final games of the group phase are determined on Oct. 1.
Romero transferred to Florida State this past offseason after averaging 14.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and five assists as a do-it-all player at Kansas State. She will redshirt in the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining as a redshirt sophomore in the 2015-16 academic year.
Hailing from Las Palmas, Spain, Romero and Rodriguez are from the same area. Romero participated in the U20 FIBA World Championship this past summer and made the all-tournament team, ranking in the Top 10 among all participants in average assists (4.7), steals (1.9) and field goals made (5.2). In years past, Romero was also selected to all-tournament teams for the U16 and U17 world championships, and was named MVP of the U18 European Tournament in Croatia.
Romero’s added presence makes her the youngest player on the Spanish National Team. She is expected to give FSU a versatile playmaker who sees the floor well and shows off a strong long and mid-range game.
Rodriguez was a stellar shooting guard at FSU from 2009-13. She finished her Seminole career on a high note, attaining an ACC First Team selection while leading FSU in scoring in 14 games as a senior. While she proved to be capable at both ends of the court, her specialty was from long range as she currently ranks sixth in school history shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc.
Known as a hard-working player who gives consistent effort, it’s no surprise Rodriguez earned a coveted spot on the national team roster. Prior to her current stint with professional club Perfumerias Avenida, she participated in the FIBA U19 World Championship in 2009 and averaged 11.6 points, 3.2 boards and 1.2 assists. She has also played in six different European tournaments with Spain since 2006.
Romero joins FSU teammates Adut Bulgak (Canada) and Ama Degbeon (Germany) as current players who have played in high-level international competition this summer.
Spain is currently ranked sixth in the world by FIBA. Should it reach the FIBA World Championship Final on Oct. 5, it would play at 2:15 p.m. ET in Istanbul.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball throughout the offseason, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).