Laksa Shining With Latvian National Team

May 31, 2017

TAMPA, MAY 31, 2017 Rising University of South Florida junior Kitija Laksa has earned a spot on the 2017 Latvia Senior National Team roster and will join the team in Prague, Czech Republic for the 2017 FIBA EuroBasket Championship.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to help my team,” said Laksa. “Like last season with USF, the team has lost a few players and gained new ones and many players are in new roles. It's exciting to be in the tournament and in this atmosphere.”

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) European Women's Basketball Championship field is made up of 16 teams and Latvia qualified as one of six top-ranked teams that finished in second place at the 2015 EuroBasket Qualifications. Latvia drew Group D with Belgium, Montenegro, and Russia. The group will compete in qualification for the quarterfinals June 16-19.

Team Latvia, currently 27th in the FIBA World Rankings, will tip off against 11th-ranked Russia on June 16 before playing Montenegro on June 17. Latvia will wrap up the qualification round against Belgium on June 19.

Laksa returned to Latvia in early May and has already played in a “friendly” competition against Ukraine. The WBCA All-America Honorable Mention earned the starting nod and played 18 minutes. Reminiscent of the NCAA first round, Laksa made back-to-back three-pointers in the final minutes of the contest to give Latvia the lead after trailing all game.

To follow Laksa's journey through the EuroBasket Championship, follow USF women's basketball on Twitter (@usfwbb) and Facebook.

USF has notched its fifth consecutive 20-win season. The Bulls tallied its 20th win in their 24th contest of the season which tied the fastest any program has reached 20 wins. This is the eighth 20-win season in program history and head coach Jose Fernandez has been at the helm for all eight 20-win seasons. The 2014-15 team reached 20 wins in 24 games, and still currently holds the best record for most wins in a season (27). 

USF has made 13 postseason tournament appearances and had five NCAA Tournament berths in Head Coach Jose Fernandez's 17 seasons. The all-time winningest coach in program history, Fernandez has guided USF to eight 20-win seasons, two WNIT final four appearances, the 2009 WNIT championship and won more than 300 games.

– #GoBulls –

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