The process was similar to the one she went through at Florida State.
Rodriguez arrived in Tallahassee with plenty of potential but lacking both the speed and the strength needed to succeed in American basketball.
As a result, she was used sparingly (7.7 minutes per game as a freshman, 8.9 as a sophomore) and at times wondered if she had what it took to succeed at FSU.
“I had no idea how college basketball worked, how each year has different responsibilities and you have to wait and have to work,” Rodriguez said. “I had to readjust and change my mindset to achieve what I wanted, which was to prove that I could play at a top-10 school and do good and really help the team.”
Eventually, after hours in the gym and a few years’ worth of experience, Rodriguez did just that. As a senior in 2012-13, Rodriguez was the top scorer on team that went 24-10 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Bolstered by a 35.4 shooting percentage from 3-point range, Rodriguez scored 14.9 points per game on her way to first-team All-ACC honors.
“I learned another way of viewing basketball, another way of coaching, interacting with different types of players,” Rodriguez said. “FSU made me open my mind … made me more mature as a person and also a player.
“It gave me a broader view about basketball and I could get the best thing of US basketball and try to introduce it into my European skills.”
Rodriguez is now putting those skills to use in Rio.