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Former Cougars Luna-Castro, Booth Take Careers Overseas

          Release: 09/09/2016
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CHARLESTON, S.C. - Two former members of the College of Charleston women's basketball team extended their careers beyond the college level this offseason, with Jackie Luna-Castro taking her talents to Finland, and Kelsey Booth doing likewise in Spain.

Booth, a current graduate student at CofC, will put her studies on hold to play for CEEB Tordera, a team in Barcelona. Booth will play shooting guard for her new squad, a stark contrast to her center role for the Cougars. Booth played one year at the College, posting an average of 8.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.5 blocks, all while logging 30 starts over the course of the season.

"I'm definitely feeling a bunch of mixed emotions," Booth said. "I'm excited and nervous. It will be a great experience and an awesome way to travel and see the world. I've heard such wonderful things about the city of Barcelona. This is the longest time i'm going to be away from home but my family is already planning visiting me."

Luna-Castro meanwhile spent the summer playing in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico for Soles de Ojinaga Femenil, a squad competing in the Liga Estatal de Baloncesto. Her team put on a dominant display, going undefeated in regular season action and winning every game by 21 points or more en route to a championship season. Luna-Castro played all over the floor, playing her traditional power forward and center roles while switching to the point when the situation called for it. 

Now, Luna-Castro travels to Kouvala, Finland to play for Kouvottaret, which plays in the Korisliga. There, she'll be expected to play a traditional center role. As a Cougar, Luna-Castro played two years, posting averages of 10.6 points and 5.8 rebounds as a senior.

"Playing the point in Mexico gave me the opportunity to work on my ball handling and let me experience the game from another angle," Luna-Castro said. "Going forward, I'm really excited about the opportunity to play in Finland's top league. As luck would have it, one of my teammates will be Kadijah Session, who played at USC, so it's kind of cool to have somebody else who played basketball in South Carolina to experience this with."

"I'm very excited for both of them," CofC head coach Candice M. Jackson said. "They've put in a lot of work in their careers here and in their offseasons to get to this point. These are well-deserved opportunities for these young women."