Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Guru Report: Leticia Romero Totally Free At Last

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

First, season's greetings to everyone.

While the national schedule is undergoing its annual three-day frozen performance, some news did sneak its way into the season narrative, bringing Christmas several hours ahead of schedule to the Florida State women's basketball program and newcomer Leticia Romero of Spain.

Not only that but it came from an organization given credit for being the personification of Scrooge the entire 12 month cycle.

Romero was the talented freshman at Ksnsas State last season who sought to change venues in the wake of the program changing coaches at the conclusion of play but for several months played the role of hostage when the university refused to give her a release.

With national media weighing in the school eventually decided it had taken enough of a beating, it didn't portray itself that way when finally making the move, and allowed Romero to go to new location of her desire.

Romero picked Florida State, a school which was one of the originals who recruited her.

Still, once that was taken care of, Romero receded from national notoriety as she prepared to sit out her one year under NCAA rules and furthermore she got eclipsed when another transfer controversy occurred until Alabama finally relented and allowed Daisha Simmons to go near her home in Northern New Jersey to play for Seton Hall.

But as everyone settled down for a three-days' winter's nap, the NCAA issued a waiver off Florida State's request and granted Romero immediate eligibility, meaning she will be back in uniform on Monday when the Seminoles (12-1), who just missed making this week's coaches poll, play Jacksonville as the non-conference schedule nears conclusion and ACC play is on the horizon.

Florida State, announcing the news, said the native of Las Palmas, Spain would have three years of eligibility.

"I feel blessed," Romero said as part of a short note responding to the Guru Wednesday through the twitter DM system that is akin to email.

She said she was unable to take calls because of bad phone service in Spain, where she is spending the Christmas break.

Credit Florida State for making a good call in taking a shot with the request.

"Yeah, you might say Christmas is a little early for us," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said in a call getting back to the Guru on Wednesday.

"We figured what do we have to lose. It's funny, though, because after our Tulane game, we were talking about some strategical moves for the future involving our point guard play," Semrau related.

"Then suddenly, I guess that all got resolved."

Romero was the top statistical leader for the Wildcats in 10 offensive and defensive categories, according to Florida State's release providing background on Romero.

She was the only Division I freshman to score 400 points, grab 100 or more rebounds, deal 100 or more assists and also grab 50 steals.

Over the summer Romero played on the Spanish national team that was runnerup to the USA Basketball Gold Medalists coached by UConn's Geno Auriemma. She has also played on Spain's age-based champions including the Under 20 squad last summer.

During the brief conversation Wednesday, the Guru noted to Romero she just missed being part of a bus tour in Philadelphia the Guru gave the Florida State delegation as part of their weekend visit to play Temple.

"Well, in the future wherever my teammates are going to be, I am going to be right there with them."

That's it for the moment. Enjoy the rest of part one of the holidays. As promised the Guru will be writing his version of year in review and posting it here in the next several days.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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