Former Cal Poly women’s basketball standout Kristina Santiago has signed a contract to play professionally for Dunav 8806 Ruse of the Bulgarian National Basketball League, putting aside two other overseas options in Switzerland and Israel.
Santiago said she signed with the Bulgarian team last week to help her grow as a prospective talent, considering Dunav 8806 Ruse plays in the EuroCup.
“I really want to get my name out there, play at a high level and get exposure from other countries, possibly leading to other job opportunities in future years,” the power forward said.
Dunav 8806 Ruse is the defending Bulgarian league champion.
Coming off a major knee injury, Santiago wrapped up her Cal Poly career with her second Big West Conference Player of the Year award. She finished as the Mustangs’ all-time leader in points (1,953), rebounds (850) and field goal percentage (.540).
Santiago is scheduled to report to the Bulgarian city of Ruse on Sept. 15.
Today, she will leave for China to play on a team made up of recent college graduates from the United States who will face national teams from several foreign countries. She is expected to return July 12.
“I’m really excited to just, honestly, put on a USA jersey and be able to represent the country,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to kick-start my pro career.”