Short-Term Pain, Long-Term Gain For Anete-Less Latvia

30 September 2009

The glass, as the saying goes, is half full or half empty.

It would be very easy for Latvia's basketball fans to say the latter following the recent announcement by 26-year-old Anete Jekabsone-Zogota that she's going to take a break from the national team and focus on her WNBA career.

The 2007 FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year has been the V8 under the hood of Latvia women's basketball for the past few summers, leading them into the Semi-Finals of the EuroBasket Women in Italy and then helping them capture a spot at the Beijing Olympics.

In June this year, the 26-year-old southpaw averaged more than 20 points per game at the EuroBasket in Latvia and was most responsible for the sonic booms that shook the Arena Riga on a nightly basis.

The glass is not half empty for Latvia women's basketball, though, following Jekabsone's departure according to point guard Kristine Karklina.

"As Anete says herself, it'll give a chance to other girls to prove what they can do without her playing in the team," Karklina said to Basketball World News.

"She hopes it'll 'open up' the way for other talented girls to the national team and that the ones who did not play as much will have more space and game time on the court to make the Latvian team better."

Latvia will begin life without Anete next summer when they play qualifying games for the EuroBasket Women 2011 in Poland.

The national team also needs a new coach following the decision by Ainars Zvirgzdins to step down after the EuroBasket.

According to, the Latvian Basketball Federation expects to announce a list of candidates for the position on November 1.

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