TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Women’s Hoops once again graces its presence at the highest level of women’s basketball in Spain. Current Seminole guard Leticia Romero and former player Leonor Rodriguez have made Spain’s 12-member Olympic Qualifying Tournament Team as announced on Tuesday by the Spanish Basketball Federation (Federacion Española de Baloncesto).
The accomplishment for Romero and Rodriguez earns them a vote of confidence as they look to make the final step of making Spain’s Olympic Basketball Team. Earning a spot on the country’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Team allows them to compete in next week’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament which is held in Nantes, France, from June 13-19.
Despite being one of the world’s best women’s basketball programs, Spain has not qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro just yet. With the help of Romero and Rodriguez, it must finish in the Top five of next week’s 12-team tournament in order to qualify.
Spain is currently ranked third in the world according to the latest FIBA World Rankings, and is first among competing countries in Europe.
Romero and Rodriguez look to help Spain qualify beginning on Tuesday, June 14, against China at 9 a.m. ET. Spain then faces Venezuela at noon ET on Wednesday before taking a rest day on Thursday.
The all-important quarterfinal matchups will take place throughout the day on Friday, June 17. The four winners of those games will automatically qualify for the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. The losers will play in two classification games on Saturday, then the fifth-place game to determine the final qualifier will happen on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Romero is coming off another All-America season at FSU, averaging 11.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and shooting 44.7 percent (38-of-85) from beyond the arc. Romero’s 3-point field goal percentage this past season was the third-highest in program history and the best by a Seminole since Courtney Ward shot 50 percent (37-of-74) in 2008-09.
The Las Palmas, Spain, native hopes to solidify a spot on the Spanish Women’s National Team for a third consecutive year. Romero and Rodriguez were both part of Spain’s impressive runner-up group at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Turkey. In 2015, Romero helped Spain to a bronze medal at the EuroBasket 2015, and was named MVP of the FIBA U20 European Tournament in the same summer.
Rodriguez also hails from the same hometown as Romero nearby the Canary Islands. She was a sharp-shooting guard for FSU from 2009-13, getting an All-ACC First Team nod as a senior when she led the Seminoles in scoring with 14.9 points per game. In that year, Rodriguez shot 45.1 percent from the floor and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Besides joining Romero on the Spanish Women’s National Team in 2014, Rodriguez appeared on the national team at the FIBA 3×3 World Championships in Athens, Greece, in 2012.
Both players will attempt to be the first Seminoles to compete at the Summer Olympic Games in women’s basketball.