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Tuesday, June 23, 2015
#FIBAAmericasWomen2015 - Chile's women working hard ahead of Edmonton 2015
by: FIBA

SANTIAGO (2015 FIBA Americas Women's Championship) - A new-look Chile has wrapped up its training camp in Miami, Florida, where the team spent a couple of weeks practicing and playing warm-up games as part of its preparations for the FIBA Americas Women's Championship in Canada.

The players received some extra guidance from NBA skills coach Andrew Moran while in the United States.

The FIBA Americas Women's Championship is to be staged in Edmonton, Canada (9-16 August) and Chile will have a fresh face in their line-up in Vanessa Leeper Jones.

Jones, who played college basketball in America, was born in the United States but her mother hails from Chile and now, having received her passport this year, she is just several weeks away from competing at her first big event with the national team.

The 25-year-old is going to have a lot of responsibility on her shoulders when Chile take on defending champions Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Canada in Group A.

Jones played for the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers in college and believed her playing days were over.

But her connections to Chile have landed her in the squad.

Writing about the Miami training camp in her Chasing Olympic Dreams blog, Jones says she is growing comfortable with her role in the team, which is coached by Richi Gonzelez.

"Personally, I've felt an improvement in my game and increased comfort with the Chile basketball style of play," she wrote.

"In our 5th game, I started to click with my all-around game. I scored four 3-pointers, a few mid-range jumpers, a couple inside shots, and all my free-throws. Personally and as a team, it's a great feeling when you improve each game and finish strong!

"I've also started to figure out my role on the team. I'm asked to defend the quickest guard full-court, be a leading rebounder on both ends, and support much of our scoring."

It's a big ask and a big honor to play a key role for a country's national team - Jones

Chile also have a tremendous weapon in Ziomara Morrison, a player with a season of WNBA experience under her belt.

Morrison just wrapped up a strong season in Turkey with Besiktas, where she averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game to help the club reach the playoffs.

At the FIBA Americas Women's Championship two years ago, Morrison averaged 23.2ppg and 11rpg for Chile in Mexico, helping them to a sixth-place finish.

Gonzelez, who hails from Madrid, Spain, has a squad with potential.

The side that wins the tournament clinches a spot in Rio de Janeiro Games and the sides that end up second, third and fourth will be invited to the FIBA Olympic Women's Qualifying Tournament.

Chile squad: Catalina Abuyeres, Sendy Basaez, Dafne Bermudez, Barbara Cousino, Marisol Gamboa, Isabel Gonzalez, Vanessa Leeper Jones, Milena Koljanin, Ziomara Morrison, Pancha Rojas, Nisse Silva and Angella Yanez.



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