Detroit picks Latvian star in WNBA draft

A 22-year-old woman from Rīga has become the second Latvia-born player to be drafted into the professional Women’s National Basketball Association.

Zane Teilāne, who has been playing center for Western Illinois University, was picked by the Detroit Shock during the third round of the April 5 WNBA draft.

The 6-foot, 7-inch (2-meter) graduate of Āgenskalna ģimnazija in Rīga played four years at WIU, where she is majoring in interdisciplinary studies with emphasis in business in fashion, according to the Web site of WIU Athletics.

Teilane was twiced named Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She also has played on the Latvian national women’s basketball team.

Two years ago, the Indiana Fever drafted Ieva Kubliņa, but she now plays for the Lithuanian team Lietuvos telekomas.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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