From Brazil to Price, America: all for the love of the game

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Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 12:25pm

Millions of people from throughout the world want to come to the states for many different reasons, but Price is rarely their preferred destination. However, this year the USU Eastern women’s basketball team had the opportunity to have three foreigners join their team. Isabella Costa, Gabriella Borges and Larissa Quintana came a long way from their home country of Brazil to play the game they love.

You may be wondering how three women from Brazil ended up in the small town of Price, Utah, that question is easily answered. Coach Adjalma Vanderlei Becheli Jr., who is now the men’s basketball teams head coach, recruited these ball players. He spent hours watching them play and getting them to come to Eastern. Borges, in fact, spent a year in Twin Falls, Idaho, playing for a conference opponent College of Southern Idaho before Vando found her and brought her to USU Eastern.

Coming from three different places in Brazil; Costa, Borges and Quintana bring different contributions to the team’s game this season. Costa is a freshman that is used in the middle as a center. She is always one of the biggest bodies on the court, but even though she is primarily a post, she can hit a 15 footer pretty consistently most days.

Borges plays a shooting guard, but when called upon, she helps the team out at the point-guard position. She is a sophomore transfer student from CSI who loves to shoot the ball which is what Coach Dave Paur wants a lot of from the team this year, so Borges fits right in.

Quintana brings a whole new style to the floor. She is a six-foot freshman guard and small forward who loves to drive to the hoop. When the team needs someone to get to the hoop or the foul line, they know who to give the ball to. Quintana also helps the team out with her quickness. When she is going full speed, there is hardly anyone that can catch her.

Even though these women bring different aspects to the team, they say American basketball is different from the same game played in Brazil. In the states, the game is faster even though the shot clock is six seconds longer. Quintana said, “Pressing the whole game doesn’t happen in Brazil.” They mainly play half-court defense, but the defense is not as tough. That is one major adjustment Costa, Borges and Quintana had to make. However, teammates Hailee Parry and Shantaya Strebel said, “They are adjusting well to the style of play in America.”

Basketball is not the only thing they had to adjust to when moving Price. Life is completely different. The food, school, language, culture and weather are all things they had to get used to.

In Brazil, they speak Portuguese, so to be able to make it in America, they had to learn English which is one of the hardest languages to learn. Luckily, for Quintana, she learned the language before she came here; Costa and Borges weren’t quite as lucky. They both had to learn English once they were already here. All three say that it was not easy to learn and they sometimes still have a hard time understanding.

School seems not too hard for the three foreigners. All their classes are a bit of a challenge, but not too tough. Although, Borges said, “English class is hard.” Costa and Quintana agreed completely. Even though their class schedules may keep them studying or not, they keep good enough grades to be eligible on the court.

Although they range in age from 18 to 21 these three have bonded over being from the same country and have some great times. Sarah Fletcher said, “They are fun people who are energetic about everything and life in general.” You can see this if you have ever been around them for long. They have the power to put on a smile on anybody’s face at times.

Despite being so far from home and the differences in the culture and life, these women love it here. Quintana said, “I like the people a lot, but not the city. Price is kind of boring.” After they are finished at USU Eastern, all three hope to be able to stay in the United States and live, but not necessarily in Price.

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