Buffs Sign Dina Piterniece To National Letter Of Intent
BOULDER - Dina Piterniece has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball and continue her education at the University of Colorado in 2007-08, CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced Monday.
Piterniece, a 6-2 guard/forward from Riga, Latvia, played two seasons at Odessa (Texas) College where her teams compiled an impressive 66-3 record, claiming the 2007 NJCAA Division I national championship and a runner-up national finish in 2006.
She averaged 12.8 points and six rebounds per game as a sophomore as the Wranglers finished 32-2, sharing the Western Junior College Athletic Conference crown (13-1) before winning the Region V and national titles. Piterniece led the WJCAC in 3-point field goals made with 3.36 per game and also ranked fifth in 3-point accuracy at 41.3 percent and was eighth in scoring. As a freshman in 2005-06, Piterniece earned All-WJCAC honors while helping Odessa to a 34-1 record. She was ranked the 12th best overall junior college sophomore by All Star Girls Report.
Piterniece will be a junior and is eligible immediately. She is CU's first junior college transfer since Tami Garnett came to the Buffs from Central Arizona College in 2004-05.
"Dina has the ability to make an immediate impact on our team," McConnell-Miller said. "She has the size, range and experience that we were looking for. She's has great experience in both international play and at the junior college level. She is very mature on and off the court and will fit in immediately. We are fortunate to find someone of her skill this late."
A veteran of several European Women's Championships, Piterniece played for Latvia's U20 team in 2005 and 2006, the U18 squad in 2004 and the U16 team in 2001. She hails from the same hometown as current CU sophomore forward Aija Putnina. Piterniece and Putnina have never played on the same team, but did play against each other in Latvia.
"I was really interested in playing in the Big 12," Piterniece said. "I really liked the coaches and the team and of course the city. I enjoyed my visit (to Boulder) and once I left I just felt that I wanted to go back."
Piterniece is Colorado's fourth signee for the upcoming season as she joins Britney Blythe, a 5-9 point guard from San Mateo, Calif., Chelsea Dale, a 6-1 guard/forward from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., and Brittany Spears, a 6-1 forward from Pasadena, Calif., who all signed with Colorado in November.