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Ichabods’ Barrientos: From Spain with game

Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

By RICK PETERSON
TopSports.news

When Nuria Barrientos, a native of Barcelona, Spain, first arrived in the United States to play for Division I Idaho State she had major adjustments to make both on and off the basketball court.

Nuria Barrientos, a native of Barcelona, Spain, started all of Washburn’s first five games, averaging 11.8 points and 7.4 rebounds. [Photograph by Rex Wolf]Washburn junior guard Nuria Barrientos is averaging 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in her first season with the Ichabods. [Photograph by Rex Wolf]

But her second move, joining Washburn's women's basketball team this season, has gone much smoother.(

“This is my fourth year (in the U.S.) and it took me about two years at Idaho State to get used to it,’’ Barrientos said. “When I first got there I couldn’t speak English at all and it was hard for me because I couldn’t understand coaches or anybody, but I learned over time.

“People at Idaho State helped me with English and everything, so when I came here I already had that down so it’s great right now. They’re great people here and they always help me and we’re very comfortable with each other, so I like that.’’

Barrientos, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, has also been an immediate contributor for the 2-4 Ichabods, starting the team’s first six games and averaging 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds after seeing spot duty in 45 games over her two seasons at Idaho State.

“I felt I could get more time here,’’ said Barrientos, who also had to deal with an ACL injury with the Bengals. “I have great memories of Idaho State and I made good friendships there, but I think I just needed more minutes and I think here I can get them.’’

Nuria Barrientos has posted season-highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds in her first season with Washburn’s women’s basketball team. [Photograph by Rex Wolf]Nuria Barrientos has posted season-highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds in her first season with Washburn’s women’s basketball team. [Photograph by Rex Wolf]

In fact, Barrientos has rarely come off the court for the Ichabods, averaging 35.5 minutes, including 39 minutes against Central Oklahoma when she notched career-highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds.

“It’s something different, this feeling, and I love it,’’ Barrientos said of her increased playing time.’’

Veteran Washburn coach Ron McHenry said Barrientos has been a welcome addition for the Ichabods and he expects the newcomer to continue getting better and better as she gets more comfortable with the Ichabods.

“She’s a nice player,’’ McHenry said. “She has the ability to get by people and she’s so long. A lot of things are very natural for her and once she figures out the system she’s going to be really good.’’