RIO DE JANEIRO (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women) - Brazilian head coach Paulo Bassul named on this Wednesday 17 players for the Brazilian National Team. In 2008 the team will play the South American Championship in Ecuador (May 23rd to 29th) and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Madrid (June 9th to 15th). The 17 players will start the training camp on May 5th, in Rio de Janeiro.
"We have named 17 players because Iziane Castro, Érika de Souza and probably Kelly Santos will be playing in the WNBA and will join the group in Madrid. And before that we have the South American Championship," said Paulo Bassul. "So, we have a group with players who made a very good job at their teams this season and at the friendly games against Cuba in March with the National Team. We have two weeks of training camp in Brazil before the South American Championship, which will be part of the team’s preparation for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. In Spain we will practice for ten more days and will have friendly games. It is a short period of training because of the international calendar. We already have been crowned South American Champions for 21 times and we want one more. After that, we will fight for a spot in Beijing. The FIBA Olympic Qualifying is a tough tournament, but we believe in our group."
Bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney, in 2000, and fourth place in Athens, in 2004, Kelly Santos is going for her third Olympics. The 28 years-old center is one of the players with more experience in the Brazilian Team.
"I am very happy to be back to the National Team. We have a strong group and I really want to help Brazil to get to the Olympics," added Kelly Santos. "I am going through an excellent moment of my career and I am sure that 2008 will be a great year for Brazilian basketball."
Brazilian National team
Érika de Souza – Center – 26 – 1,97m – Atlanta Dream (WNBA)
Jucimara Dantas (Mamá) – Forward/Center – 30 – 1,93m – Villeneuve (France)
Kelly Santos – Center – 28 – 1,92m – Extremadura Dato (France)
Graziane Coelho – Center – 24 –1,91m – Mizo Pécs (Hungary)
Soeli Zakrzeski (Êga) – Forward/Center – 30 –1,87m – Mann Filter Zaragoza (France)
Franciele Nascimento – Forward/Center – 20 – 1,87m – Mann Filter Zaragoza (France)
Karina Jacob – Center – 22 – 1,87m – Açúcar Cometa/Unimed/Catanduva (Brazil)
Tatiana Conceição – Forward – 26 – 1,85m – Colchões Castor/FIO/Unimed/Ourinhos (Brazil)
Iziane Castro Marques – Forward – 26 – 1,82m – Atlanta Dream (WNBA)
Patrícia Ferreira (Chuca) – Forward – 29 –1,80m – Colchões Castor/FIO/Unimed/Ourinhos (Brazil)
Micaela Jacintho – Forward – 29 – 1,80m – Colchões Castor/FIO/Unimed/Ourinhos (Brazil)
Jaqueline Silvestre – Forward/Guard – 22 – 1,78m – Sport/Maurício de Nassau (Brazil)
Karen Gustavo – Forward/Guard – 24 – 1,77m – Colchões Castor/FIO/Unimed/Ourinhos (Brazil)
Karla Costa – Forward/Guard – 29 – 1,73m – Açúcar Cometa/Unimed/Catanduva (Brazil)
Adriana Moisés (Adrianinha) – Guard – 29 – 1,70m – Gospic (Croatia)
Cláudia das Neves (Claudinha) – Guard – 33 – 1,70m – Clermont Ferrand (France)
Natália Burian – Guard – 23 – 1,63m – Açúcar Cometa/Unimed/Catanduva (Brazil)
Age Average: 26,5
Height Average: 1,82m
Manager: Edílson France
Head Coach: Paulo Bassul
Assistant Coach: César Guidetti
Physical Trainer: João Nunes
Physicians: Carlos Eduardo Marques M.D. and José Carlos Cordeiro M.D.
Physiotherapists: Flávia Siqueira, Renata Nolasco and Carolina Montes
May 5th to 17th - Training camp in Rio de Janeiro
May 23rd to 29th – South American Championship – Loja / Ecuador
June 5th – Friendly game Brazil x China, in Madridd / Spain
June 9th to 15th – FIBA Word Olympic Qualifying – Madrid / Spain
Brazilian Basketball Federation
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images