11/17/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2019 10:15
EDMONTON (Canada) - If something is certain when talking about Cuba's national women's basketball team, it's that it's going to count on Yamara Amargo's contributions. The Cuban player is a bona fide scorer who ranks up more than 16 years with the colors of the greatest of the Antilles.
Some things have changed during the past four decades, when Cuba used to be the powerhouse of Caribbean basketball, up until other teams, like Puerto Rico, have equaled the game. For Cuba's number 9, that's the result of a lack of exposure and international friendlies.
'The game level has decreased a bit because we don't have that contact with other European athletes, with athletes from other countries,' said Amargo to FIBA.basketball before starting the game against the Dominican Republic on Thursday.
What hasn't changed is Amargo's status as one of the most outstanding figures of the region. During the month of September, she was the best scorer of the FIBA Women's AmeriCup, with 19 points per night. And in this Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament, Amargo produces 12 points per game; her 16 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists were key in Cuba's tight win on Saturday against their Dominican neighbors, 70-68, to keep them with high hopes.
At the age of 34, with Centrobasket and AmeriCup championships, with gold medals in Central American and Pan American Games, and several appearances in FIBA World Cups, Amargo seems to be far from retiring. She's living the moment, here and now, focused on keeping Cuba's options open to move on to the next phase of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
But her book isn't done yet, as there's still a chapter left to be written. There's still an Olympic adventure missing, one that the program hasn't experienced since Sydney 2000. For Amargo, continuing to fight to get on that plane to Tokyo in 2020 is the only option. 'It'd be great to go to the Olympics. That's every Cuban athlete's dream,' said Amargo. 'With this national team the only thing I'm missing is to qualify for the Olympics, which is ideal, for me it'd be like completing my dream,' she added.
The 5'11' shooting guard/small forward described her career of almost two decades in the national Cuban program with humility, emphasizing that more than anything, it has helped her grow her personal character. And that's precisely the legacy she wants to leave behind once she concludes her career, 'that sports equal health, and that as long as you practice, you'll always have good health and be rejuvenated.'
For Yamara Amargo it seems like the years don't go on at all - there are still shots to score, victories to conquer, and Olympic dreams to achieve.