EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
|Zane Tamane's two-metre frame will be sorely missed by Latvia|
Latvia have been dealt a devastating blow to their hopes of making a splash at EuroBasket Women 2013, after Zane Tamane revealed she was skipping the tournament which is also likely to mean a permanent retirement from national team duty.
Due to turn 30 years old later this year, the star centre, who plays her club basketball in EuroLeague Women with Nadezhda, broke the news by speaking to the Latvian Federation website.
She explained " It has always been a pleasure to represent Latvia, and I will support the girls and if needed, also help them with advice - but I feel my body does not have the required strength and energy.
"If the truth be told, basketball during the last couple of years has brought not only positive feelings, but also pain and negative emotions.
"A rest is needed and even then, I don't know how long I'll keep playing since 300 days of intense workouts every year leaves its' mark and I have to start thinking about what I will be doing and how I will feel after the end of my pro career."
Tamane was a stand-out performer last season for Fenerbahce at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight last season, and was the first Latvian to play in the WNBA, although an attempt during last summer to return proved to be unfruitful.
That was to the gain of Latvia since she returned to help Latvia book their place in France with a near double-double of 9.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game during qualification.
The only positive aspect for head coach Aigars Nerips and Latvian fans is that being without key players it is hardly a new situation.
For lately, Latvia have had to compete on a regular basis without their big-hitters including the likes of Anete Jekabsone and the now retired duo of Ieva Kublina and Gunta Basko-Melnbarde.
Yet in the face of such adversity, they have continued to deliver with a number of younger players stepping into the breach.
Although in this case, it's a particularly crushing blow and Coach Nerips will be praying both Liene Jansone and Aija Putnina stay healthy so they still have a relatively experienced and productive presence in the paint.