One future and one former Southeast Missouri State women's basketball player are members of the New Zealand National Team with their sights set on the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Incoming guard Jordan Hunter and former forward Natalie Purcell recently made the final cut for the New Zealand National Team. The Tall Ferns travel to China this week for some games before their quest for London culminates with a qualifying tournament June 25 through July 1 in Turkey.
Hunter will join the Redhawks this fall as a junior after transferring from Crowder Community College. She earned third-team junior college All-American honors after averaging 13.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game last season.
"It's a great honor for Jordan to get to represent her country," Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler said. "I think this is tremendous for our basketball team, and it shows the quality of players we are bringing into our program."
Purcell played at Southeast during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. She was the second-leading scorer, averaging 11.7 points per game, on the 2005-06 squad that won the program's first Ohio Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles and made the program's first NCAA Division I tournament appearance.
An NCAA ruling later took away those two OVC titles and NCAA tournament berth as part of the penalties handed down for NCAA rules violations in the Southeast women's basketball program during former coach B.J. Smith's four-year tenure.
Purcell competed for New Zealand in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The Tall Ferns are 16th in the International Basketball Federation rankings. They will join 11 other teams vying for the final five Olympic spots in Turkey.