O'Neill could become first UK women's basketball player in Olympics

June 13, 2012 

University of Kentucky guard Jennifer O'Neill was selected this week to be a member of the Puerto Rican national basketball team as it tries to earn a trip to the 2012 Olympics.

O'Neill's mother, Maritza Robles, is Puerto Rican and her maternal grandmother is a native, which made O'Neill eligible for the national team.

"Playing for Puerto Rico will allow me to represent my family in a very special way," the 5-foot-6 guard said in a UK news release. "It's been a great experience so far because I'm learning a lot in practice, getting a lot of reps and learning how to read defenses better."

O'Neill sat out last season at UK after having surgery on her right foot.

The Puerto Rican team will travel to Turkey June 25-July 1 for the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament and compete for one of the final five spots in the London Games.

It's a great opportunity for the former McDonald's All-American, UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said.

"It is an honor for any player to get to play at this level with a chance to compete in the Olympics," Mitchell said. "All of us at UK will be cheering for Jen as she tries to help the Puerto Rican national team earn a spot."

O'Neill would be the first women's basketball player in program history to compete in the Olympics.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service