June 26, 2008
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Former Siena women's basketball players Gunta Basko and Liene Jansone will be playing for their home country of Latvia in the upcoming summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Latvia earned a spot in the 12-team tournament by routing Angola 84-26 in the 2008 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Spain earlier this month.
This is the first time in its nation's history that Latvia's women's basketball team will play in the Olympics.
Latvia went 2-0 in the pre-round, defeating Japan 83-69 and crushing Senegal 94-34; drawing Angola in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament bracket. Latvia is one of five teams to earn a trip to Beijing through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Spain.
Jansone averaged 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in the FIBA Qualifying Tournament. Basko averaged eight points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.7 steals per contest.
Basko '03, a two-time MAAC Player of the Year, started 112 games during her illustrious career at Siena. She ranks second on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,833 points and second in rebounds with 1,027. Basko averaged 15.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game at Siena.
Jansone '04, played in 105 games for the Saints, earning MAAC Rookie of the Year in 2000-01, MAAC Sixth Player of the Year in 2001-02, and MAAC Player of the Year in 2002-03. Jansone tops the school's all-time list in field goal percentage, hitting 59% of her shots. She averaged 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, good enough for second and fourth respectively.
Basko and Jansone were a part of the 2000-01 MAAC Championship team at Siena.
Latvia is scheduled to play their opening game of the Olympics against Russia on August 9.