July 17, 2008
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena women's basketball freshman Cristina Centeno (Belleville, N.J./Marist) will be playing for the Puerto Rico Junior National Team in the 2008 FIBA Americas Women's Championship in Argentina from July 23 to 27.
The U-18 tournament includes six participating teams: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, USA and Venezuela. The top four teams will qualify for the U-19 World Championship in 2009.
Centeno, born in the United States but her family from Puerto Rico, made the squad in June at the Junior National Team tryouts. She signed a National Letter of Intent, agreeing to play at Siena, during the early signing period in November. Centeno, a 5-9 guard, was a four-year starter at Marist High School in New Jersey.
"We are very excited for Cristina to represent the Puerto Rico Junior National team," said Siena head coach Gina Castelli. "Her work ethic has afforded her this wonderful opportunity. Cristina will gain valuable experience playing with a National team as well as provide the Puerto Rico team with incredible intensity and passion."
As a senior, Centeno helped Marist win the non-Public North Jersey State Championship as she was named First Team for the league, Hudson County and state non-public teams. She finished her career with 1,531 career points. She was named to the New Jersey State North All-Star Team, the Essex County All-Star Team and was a 2008 McDonald's All-American Nominee.
During her junior year, Centeno helped guide Marist to the New Jersey State Championships quarterfinal round, while also earning All-County First Team honors. At the conclusion of her sophomore season, Centeno was an All-County Second Team selection and earned the Star Ledger's Honorable Mention Award. As a freshman, Centeno ranked second on the team in scoring and assists, while also leading Marist in steals.