June 3, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head women’s basketball coach Deb Patterson announced on Monday the signing of the top international recruit in the class of 2013, Leticia Romero of Spain, to a National Letter of Intent (NLI) during the spring signing period. With the addition of Romero, K-State has signed six players for the 2013-14 season.
"Leti is a tremendous addition to our program in every respect,” said Patterson of her newest addition. “She is a person of great character, an exceptional student and a player I expect will make an immediate impact. Leti has an exceptional basketball IQ, a strong perimeter skill set and an inspired work ethic. She brings a world class competitive mentality to the floor. Her commitment to be great, to win and to working hard lends to her great leadership skills. Leti elevates the standards of those she competes with. We are extremely excited about welcoming her to America and Kansas State.”
Romero, who chose K-State over offers from Florida State and Virginia Tech, helped Spain’s U17 national team to a second place finish at the 2012 U-17 World Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands last summer. During the tournament, Romero was named to the All-Tournament Team by leading Spain with 13.3 points and 3.5 assists while also pulling in 4.7 rebounds and pocketing 2.0 steals.
She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Team USA players Diamond DeShields and Linnae Harper, who will be playing at North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively, in 2013-14. Both DeShields and Harper rank among the top-10 players in the US for the class of 2013 by ESPN Hoopgurlz.
In the semifinals of the U17 World Championships against Japan, Romero poured in 27 points, dished out five assists and pocketed four steals to propel Spain to the championship game.
Romero will continue her busy national team duties this summer, as she will play for the Spanish U19 team that will compete at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women on July 18-28 in Klaipeda & Panevezys, Lithuania (lithuania2013.fiba.com). She will also play on the Spanish U18 team for the 2013 European U18 Championships.
The FIBA U19 Worlds will feature 16 teams with athletes 19-years-old or younger. While Lithuania earned an automatic berth to the tournament as host, the remaining 15 nations were determined by the five FIBA zone qualifiers in 2012. In addition to Spain and the US U19 team highlighted by 2013 Final Four Most Outstanding Performer and Connecticut sophomore Breanna Stewart, nations qualified for the tournament are: Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Senegal, Mali, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, France, Russia, Serbia and the Netherlands. Spain is in Group B in pool play and will face Japan, Argentina and Australia.
The top three finishing teams from each first-round group will advance to the second round, held July 22-24. The 12 nations qualifying for the second round will be divided into Groups E and F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with all results of games played in the preliminary round carrying over to determine the second-round standings.
Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the second round will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. The medal round will be played in Klaipeda, with the quarterfinals held on July 26, semifinals slated for July 27 and the gold medal game on July 28.
In addition to her extensive international experience, Romero has played for Gran Canaria in the Spanish Liga Femenina (LFB) for the last three seasons. During the 2012-13 season, she averaged 15.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.2 steals. Her scoring average ranked fourth in the LFB, while her steals per game ranked second. She was named to the Eurobasket.com All-Spanish LFB Second Team and was selected to the Eurobasket.com All-Domestic Players Team. She recently helped her team capture the Spanish U18 Championship by averaging 25 points, 6.3 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 4.6 steals while earning tournament MVP honors.
In the 2011-12 season, Romero helped lead Gran Canaria to its fifth Spanish Junior Championship with an 83-60 win over Sant Adria. Romero led the tournament in points and assists.
In 2011, Romero helped guide the Spanish U16 national team to a gold medal at the U-16 European Championships. She averaged 9.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.0 steals and was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
Romero joins a K-State signing class that includes four signees from the fall signing period and another from the spring signing period. Those five signees were: forwards Breanna Lewis (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jessica Sheble (Olathe, Kan.) and Erica Young (Tampa, Fla.) and guards Jai Murphy (Nashville, Tenn.) and Kindred Wesemann (Pleasant Hill, Mo.).
Lewis, Sheble and Young all check in at 6-3 or taller with Lewis at 6-5, and Sheble and Young at 6-3. Lewis will be tied for the second-tallest player in K-State women’s basketball history and the tallest on the roster since Nicole Ohlde (2001-04). Sheble and Young are the seventh and eighth players in the program’s history to check in at a height of 6-3.
Playing with seven players for the final 19 games of the 2012-13 season, Kansas State reached the postseason for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons by appearing in the 2013 WNIT. The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals of the WNIT for the third time in the program’s four appearances in the tournament.
In addition to its six signees for the 2013-14 season, K-State returns five players that saw significant action in the 2012-13 season, including sophomore-to-be Bri Craig and junior-to-be Haley Texada.
Kansas State 2013-14 Signees
Name, Height, Position, Hometown, School
Breanna Lewis, 6-5, Forward, Milwaukee, Wis., Riverside High
Jai Murphy, 5-9, Guard, Nashville, Tenn., Brentwood Academy
Leticia Romero, 5-8, Guard, Las Palmas, Spain, I.E.S. Joaquin Artiles
Jessica Sheble, 6-3, Forward, Olathe, Kan., Olathe North High
Kindred Wesemann, 5-8, Guard, Pleasant Hill, Mo., Pleasant Hill High
Erica Young, 6-3, Forward, Tampa, Fla., Tampa Bay Tech High