July 29, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University's Chandice Cronk '08 announced Wednesday she will be in Spain this year after signing a professional contract to play basketball in Huelva, Spain for CB Conquero. The club is located on the southwest coast of Spain.
Cronk was a four-year starter for the Broncos, helping Santa Clara to two West Coast Conference championships (one regular-season, one tournament). A two-time All-WCC selection, Cronk ended her career on the Mission Campus with 1,346 points, which places her fourth on the all-time list. She also holds SCU's all-time three-point field goals made record (244). Cronk is ranked in eight additional all-time lists and in seven single-season lists. She set the school's and the WCC's single-season three-point field goal record (94) as a junior. As a senior in 2007-08, Cronk underwent season-ending knee surgery after tearing her ACL at Gonzaga on Feb. 2.
CB Conquero in the Liga Femminina 2. The team posted a 6-24 record last season playing in Group A. Currently 32 teams compete in the LF2. Cronk will be joined by fellow American Rachel Galligan of Eastern Illinois University.
Cronk checked in with SantaClaraBroncos.com to talk about getting back on the court and living in Spain.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: When did you decide that you wanted to get back to playing?
Chandice Cronk: It wasn't really a decision it was more of a question of when I COULD BEGIN playing again. I wasn't cleared to play until October of 2009, and after that I began training. I've been dreaming about playing professionally since I was a little kid running around in an oversized jersey with the No. 23 on the back.
SCB: What did you do over the past year to build up your endurance and strength?
CC: I worked at a gym this year teaching youth sport classes and did some personal training. A perk of being an employee is a free gym membership. I did a lot of strength training and agility work, as well as playing in a men's and women's basketball league. It was pretty neat too, because I got to play with my mom and dad in the leagues.
SCB: What was the process like to get set up with a team in Europe?
CC: I posted my stats on a website and was contacted by the head coach. I sent tapes, we exchanged numerous e-mails. Coach Bento-Jackson helped me get an agent and we set up a contract. It was about a three month long process, but definitely worth it.
SCB: Are you excited to get back out on the court?
CC: I came down to Santa Clara for a few months to train and I realized how much I missed it. Coach Mountain let me train with the team, and Coach Bento-Jackson got me in for some great individual workouts with her. I cannot wait to play at a competitive level again.
SCB: What are you most looking forward to?
CC: Like I said, I have missed playing at a competitive level so much. I am also very excited to see a different part of the world. I have never been to Spain, and I want to completely immerse myself in the culture and just make it the best experience that I possibly can.
SCB: So, how are your Spanish-speaking skills?
CC: I have been asked that a million times already! Ha Ha. I took two years in high school and three semesters in college, so I've got the basics down. I bought a book, so hopefully that will help.
SCB: Do you know anyone over there?
CC: No, I do not know a single soul. However, I did find out that I will have a fellow American on the team.