Argentina: a special place for Diana Taurasi

Argentina: a special place for Diana Taurasi
www.fiba.basketball|14-Nov-2019 12:16

HOUSTON (United States) – With four Olympic gold medals, three FIBA World Cups and three WNBA championships, Diana Taurasi is one of the greatest talents in women’s basketball in the United States. The stellar point guard will be at the Argentine city of Bahia Blanca to participate with her national team in Group B of the FIBA Women's Olympic Pre-Qualifying Americas Tournament, taking place from November 14 to 17.

Argentina is a special place for Taurasi. It was in this South American country where her parents, Mario and Lili, met and she herself lived there at the age of 13.

Her father, born in Italy, moved to Argentina when he was a child. There he became a professional soccer player and met Lili. They got married and moved to Los Angeles, where Diana was born.

“To go back there and play now, it is definitely one of the biggest moments right now,” said Taurasi in an article published in USA Basketball’s website.

The 37-year-old player hadn’t visited Argentina since the year 2000 when she traveled there with the US national team to a FIBA U-18 World Championship that took place in Mar del Plata. There she took the gold in what was her first international appearance with the United States. Basketball takes her once again to Argentine soil; now, in a stage in her career when she seeks to add up her fifth Olympic medal.

“I mean, what a great coincidence, to be able to do this tour and go back to Argentina. It's still exciting for me to do something that I love to do. So, it just came at the right time,” commented the six-time EuroLeague champion.

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In Bahia Blanca, Taurasi hopes to reunite with some aunts and cousins that she hasn’t seen since she was 13.

“I am definitely (eager) to get there and to see everyone and to have everyone I'm seeing have a good experience. I'm excited.”

Regarding what she remembers of this country, the Phoenix Mercury star said: “Just a lot of great times. When you have a lot of family around, you know, the lifestyle is a little bit different. So, I have a lot of fond memories from living there with my family.”

Taurasi particularly remembers a chance she had to attend a soccer game.

“I think there was one day where we actually went with the whole family to the biggest soccer rivalry in our city. It was just a great day to see that atmosphere and to see our club team,” she shared.

At the FIBA Women's Olympic Pre-Qualifying Americas Tournament, Taurasi and Team USA will face Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, with the goal of being among the first two places of the group and move on to the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2020, which will be held in February.

“We're just excited to keep building on short-term goals. Make sure we get better every day,” concluded the WNBA’s 2009 season MVP.