The international contingent on the University of Maine women’s basketball team will grow to eight next season.
Blue Star Europe reported on Saturday morning that coach Richard Barron’s Black Bears have received a verbal commitment from Aida Santana.
The 5-foot-11, left-handed sharpshooter from the Canary Islands plays for Gran Canaria La Caja de Canarias in Spain.
“I chose Maine because I believe at that sports level I can contribute much to the team and also compete at a high level,” Santana said in an interview conducted in Spanish via Twitter and email.
“Moreover, also because it is a great university and I think personally is the best choice to live the experience,” she added.
Barron is prohibited by NCAA rules from discussing a recruit until the university has received her signed National Letter of Intent. The signing period begins in April.
Santana joins Calais High School product Maddy McVicar as UMaine’s incoming recruits for the 2015-2016 season.
The 18-year-old Santana said she is averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists per game for her junior league team. She provided a self-analysis of her basketball strengths.
“My best skills as a player are the capacity to control the game, my outside shooting; I can play any position and I am a very athletic player,” she said.
Santana, who said she chose UMaine over Northeastern of the Colonial Athletic Association, was neither recruited in person by Barron nor visited the Orono campus. Her skills were instead evaluated on video and through recommendations.
“I haven’t visited Maine, but they have spoken very well of it,” Santana said, “and after having seen all the videos that coach Amy (Vachon) has sent me, and the website and online tours, my parents and I made the decision to choose Maine.”
Santana’s arrival will give UMaine players from Spain, England, Greece, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Serbia.
Her participation at UMaine is contingent upon her acceptance by the university and compliance with NCAA eligibility guidelines.
NOTE: The original version of this story contained an error. Santana was born on Canary Islands, Spain.