HAMDEN, Connecticut – Quinnipiac University women's basketball head coach Tricia Fabbri and the rest of her staff have announced the signing of Paula Strautmane (Mucenieki, Latvia) to a national letter of intent with the Bobcats. Strautmane joins a list of three more Class of 2019 additions – Brittany Martin (Sicklerville, New Jersey), Aryn McClure (Queens, New York) and Edel Thornton (County Cork, Ireland) – to make up the Bobcats' four-member freshmen class for the 2015-16 season.
Listed as a guard/forward, Strautmane and McClure add depth and athleticism to the frontcourt while Martin and Thornton will vie for minutes in the Bobcats' backcourt this coming season. Strautmane, the first Latvian-born Bobcat in program history, and Thornton (Ireland) look to shine as European-born recruits for the Bobcats much like All-MAAC Third Teamer Nikoline Ostergaard (Denmark) did for Quinnipiac last season.
Hometown: Mucenieki, Latvia
High School/Previous School: Latvia U-18 & U-16 National Team / TTT Riga (Club)
Major: School of Engineering
A prized late addition to the Quinnipiac Class of 2019, Strautmane is a highly versatile 6-foot wing player with athleticism that is hard to find on the recruiting trails. Highly sought after by a nationally recognized women's basketball power South Florida as well as Wake Forest, New Mexico and Maine, Strautmane's addition signals another building block in Quinnipiac's pursuit of a second consecutive MAAC Championships. Often flashing the traditional "Euro moves" whether she is handling on the perimeter or deep in the low post, the Quinnipiac coaching staff views her game similar to that of another European-born graduated senior Nikoline Ostergaard.
Armed with a plethora of big-game experience, Strautmane has been a key piece on the Latvian National Team, first at the U-16 level and then onto the U-18 at the European Championships. Playing for the U-18 Latvian National Team in the summer of 2014, Strautmane flashed all-around ability with averages of 9.9 points (45.8 FG%), 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. She led Latvia to a 4-3 record at the 2014 Championships while ranking 5th among all players in blocked shots (1.4), 2nd in offensive rebounds (5.4), 7th in total rebounds (10.4) and 10th in the field goal percentage (45.8) At the U-16 Euro Championships in 2013, Strautmane showcased similar ability with a stat line of 11.2 points (48.8 FG%), 8.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. Strautmane ranked 5th in field goal percentage (48.8), 3rd in assists (3.6), 6th in defensive rebounds (6.8) and 10th in total rebounds (8.8).
For the majority of the season, Strautmane has played with the club team TTT Riga based in Latvia. In the 2014 season, Strautmane again displayed the type of all-around ability at 10.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals in 28 minutes across 21 games. Strautmane's versatility is a quality Coach Fabbri values while her rebounding ability and athleticism at the wing position gives the Bobcats options as the staff looks to replace the production of six graduated senior class members.
What Coach Fabbri Says About Paula Strautmane:
"We've added another great player in Paula and we're excited to get her on-campus and into our program where we think she'll flourish. She's a great rebounder with a ton of skill. I think our up-tempo system will bring out the best in her abilities."
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