|"I would have never expected to be on the list" - Leticia Romero on being nominated for FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year|
By Paul Nilsen
She's still only 18, but Leticia Romero has already made an impact on both sides of The Pond after taking her playmaking skills from the courts of Europe to the NCAA.
Currently over 7,500 kilometres from home, the Spanish point-guard is playing in the early stages of her freshman year at Kansas State University.
She has made a big splash by showcasing exactly why she is being billed as one of the premier guards of her generation and also why she's made the shortlist for the FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year award.
The teenager has been an instant hit Stateside, having approached a triple-double in her first ever game for K-State last month after claiming 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in an outstanding debut.
That followed on from being crowned MVP of the U18 European Championship Women in Croatia during the summer, having already turned heads at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania, where she played against opponents predominantly a year older.
Despite her accomplishments, Romero hadn't even considered herself to be nominee for the annual accolade.
"I just saw it and it was kind of surprising, because I would have never expected to have even been on that list," she claimed.
"There are a lot of talented players in Europe, so being nominated for the FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year is really encouraging."
As for her own highlight of the year?
|Leticia Romero was MVP at this year's U18 European Championship Women|
"I'd say the U18 European Championship Women with the national team," said the All-Tournament Team nominee Romero.
"I enjoy playing with this team every time we do play, because we've been together for some years and we all are good friends.
"It was a really tough tournament, but we finally got the gold and overall, it was a great experience."
Whether she wins the prestigious individual accolade or not, the Gran Canaria native has only one aim at the forefront of her mind right now.
That is simply to continue settling into college life, having opted for NCAA ball instead of the pro-game, where she had many suitors waiting to sign her up.
"It's challenging," smiled Romero, reflecting on the passing of her first month of competitive college ball.
"I've been adjusting to this kind of game, because the speed and the physicality are quite different from Europe.
"It is just something that takes time, but we have great coaches here and I feel that I can improve a lot and help the team to reach our goals."
To see the full list of FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year candidates, click here.