Michelle Splitter has been named in the Brazil squad to play at the South American Championship in Ecuador from May 23-29.
Splitter, like her Tau Ceramica star brother Tiago, is also a center. She has had a far more important fight in her life, however, winning a three-year battle with leukemia.
She returned to basketball in 2007 and has been an integral part of Unimed Americana in the Women’s Campeonato.
Splitter says she is finding it hard to believe that she will now represent her country in Ecuador and could, depending on her performances, make the senior team that will play in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Madrid in June.
"I couldn’t imagine that this was going to happen," she said, before admitting that she was thrilled just to be playing again after her illness.
"I was really happy that I could return to playing and try to do a good job."
Cesar Guidetti will lead a 12-strong Brazil squad in Ecuador and those who impress could to link up with Brazil’s European-based players for the Olympic qualifying event in Spain from June 9-15.
Before Ecuador, however, Brazil will travel to Havana to play several games against Cuba later this month.
Ourinhos, who captured the Campeonato title on Monday, have several players in the squad. The most senior of the squad is 29-year-old veteran Karla Costa of Campeonato runners-up, Catanduva.
Brazil Squad for South America Championship: Michelle Splitter (Unimed/Americana), Flavia Luiza dos Santos (no club), Karina Jacob (Cometa/Unimed/Catanduva), Tatiana Conceicao (Ourinhos), Izabela de Andrade (Ourinhos), Patricia Ferreira "Chuca" (Ourinhos), Tayara Pesenti (Sport/Mauricio de Nassau), Karen Rocha (Ourinhos), Karla Costa (Catanduva), Vanessa Gattei (Ourinhos), Gislaine Paulino "Gigi" (Sport/Mauricio de Nassau), Natalia Burian (Catanduva).
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images