Montevideo, Jun 27 (EFE) .- The pandemic changed the lives of athletes around the world. Suspended leagues, canceled training and, in many cases, collapsed dreams. That seemed to be the outlook for Uruguayan basketball player Florencia Niski in March, but today her career takes a different direction.
The young Uruguayan jewel, 17 years old, who stood out in the local league, in the Celeste and was even a figure on the NBA campuses, speaks in an interview with Efe about this 2020 in which she was faced with the frustration of not being able to start his international career but with the hope of the new project at the Spanish Celta Zorka.
“I am really looking forward to it. I am very anxious to be there, to see how everything is going to be. What I want most is to play and see how that league is going to be, which from what I have seen is very competitive,” she says.
The player has a short but outstanding career that seems to have no roof. Emerged from Bohemios, a team from Montevideo, the young base has had to speak.
Her good performances led her to be in the eyes of the Rocamora of Argentina and be hired to play in the league of this country. However, when she was just adjusting to her new team and getting to know her teammates, COVID-19 arrived in South America to stop all sports activities.
“It was a shame because I really wanted to compete and play there in that league, which is very competitive too. It was the first experience of going abroad, playing in a bigger team, new teammates, changing the habit of playing in Bohemios, it was very important, “he reflects.
Although it gave him a low mood to have to return to Uruguay and not even be able to go out to train, he quickly took the initiative with his brother to train harder, take advantage of confinement to physically improve and motivate himself again.
What in principle was a hard blow, a few weeks ago became a joy since his representative, Juan Pablo Da Prá, sent videos of the basketball player to Spain and, immediately, the offers began to rain.
Although three teams were interested in it, Celta was the one who showed a more serious offer.
EUROPE, A DREAM AND A CHALLENGE
At just 18 years old, since he will travel in August a few days after coming of age, Niski is going to achieve the dream that many basketball players have had since they started throwing the orange ball on any basketball court: to reach Europe.
“From a very young age when I started taking basketball as my main sport, jumping to Argentina was better than Uruguay but neither was it the boom. The boom is going to the United States or Europe and now going to Spain all so quickly, I am nervous, anxious, but that is what is going to make me add and continue growing as a player, “she says.
Celta, who is currently in League 2, is an ideal place for it since it has a staff that has both young and experienced people and, in addition, they were able to contact their future teammates who described the team as “a big family”.
“The goal is to move up to League 1, where competition varies. Women’s League 2 is also very tough. My idea is also that, get that title with Celta and go up,” she says.
What also seduced Celta is that it is a club with history, with good facilities and that places great importance on the training of its players, something that is essential for her at this stage of her career.
“I think it will give him a lot of aggressiveness, speed, because it is what I do best. I consider myself a very good base with quick decision-making, obviously I have to keep improving the shot and much more,” he says.
LOOK AT THE WNBA
Although he does not want to set long-term goals, Niski dreams of one day reaching the WNBA. The path to it has been going because, in addition to his signing with the Spanish club, he has also excelled on the campuses organized by the world’s leading league.
His last experience was in Chicago, on a three-day campus that had the finishing touch of attending the game of stars at the Bulls stadium.
“He was one of the best that I have gone to for everything, for having the best players in the world all gathered in the same stadium, for how it went as they chose me among the eight best on campus and the truth was that it was very important, he added me a lot and those experiences are unique, “he highlights.
The player emphasizes the good level of Uruguayan basketball. Despite the fact that the sport is not professional and that the players have to make great sacrifices to be able to practice the sport they love, the talent is there and she represents a generation of great basketball players who have had to speak at the South American level.
Now, Niski must embark on this new path, always with the shirt of her beloved Bohemios next to her and with her sights set on continuing her studies, continuing to grow as a player and showing that Uruguayan women’s basketball has a lot to give.