In recent weeks, the sport of the Region of Murcia smiles thanks to women’s basketball. This is the first course in which a team from this land, the Hozono Global Jairis, is in the highest Spanish category and that brings hand in hand that we can finally see here -in the Fausto Vicent de Alcantarilla pavilion- the majority of the best players in our country and other great foreign stars. In fact, two weeks ago the Murcian team received a visit from Perfumerías Avenida, the most successful club in our country and which has finished runner-up and third in the last two editions of the Euroleague (the highest European competition) and the stands were filled. There was a lot of excitement to see players from the Spanish team, take photos with them and have them sign autographs for us (because as a general rule, they are all very accessible and always spend a lot of time with the fans, especially the little ones). It is very important to create role models, female in this case, who have been -some- 20 years in the elite, who continue to work and commit to a team or who are young talents who have a very big projection.
Coincidences of the calendar, after the visit of Avenida it was the turn of the Spar Uni Girona, another of the candidate teams to fight for all possible titles. She arrived in Alcantarilla with her latest signing, Brittney Sykes, one of the best defensive players in the WNBA (the best league in the world). She was unable to play because the documentation did not arrive on time, but all the young stands behind the Catalan team’s bench were able to see the American fold the shirts of her teammates, prepare their sweat towels and each of the bottles of water. They are details, values that teach us that no matter how star you are, the important thing is the group and the team. This does not always happen in professional sports. Another of Girona’s players, the Lithuanian Giedre Labuckiene, was a mother, stopped her career and then returned to the highest level. This is also very hard and complicated.
We are used to seeing male athletes in the media or on social networks who do pose with their children or talk about them, but not so much with women. Because many wait to finish their sports career to start a family. The “anti-pregnancy” clauses still exist in many contracts, which have been seen as normal until recently. Each body is different and today there is more knowledge and more preparation during the pregnancy process thinking about postpartum recovery, but if an elite athlete decides to become a mother, she practically stops competing at the highest level for a year. A separate issue is then the issue of breastfeeding, taking into account the trips and the schedules of the matches.
example of resilience
The great smile of the sports weekend in the Region, without a doubt, was starred by Laura Gil. The Murcian returned to the slopes 10 months later (she was out of it since February) after suffering a serious injury in which she broke her Achilles heel and she could barely even walk. In all this time she has been without a contract, rehabbing and training on her own in her hometown. Because at home, nowhere. When the time for her return began to approach, she received several offers from Spanish clubs to try to sign her, but finally she opted for Landes, from the French league. She took to the court there last Sunday and in her first game after the injury she signed 6 points, three rebounds and two assists in 12 minutes. She has returned and to return is to win because the injuries are not only physical, they are also emotional.
Laura Gil is one of the best athletes in the history of the Region of Murcia (the best, in the female category). She is 30 years old and she has won absolutely everything in her career, both at the club level and with the Spanish team, with which she has climbed to the podium and has won medals in European, World and Olympic Games. Her record, both in lower categories and at a professional level, is within the reach of very few athletes in our country, but the most important thing is the depth that she is leaving as a person. She has already left a legacy, although she has not retired yet: she has a pavilion in Santo Ángel with her name and many girls dream of becoming like her.
Women’s basketball and its players on this earth are an example for the younger generations in many aspects beyond sports or results. They are a great cradle of values. And you have to enjoy it because until now we hadn’t had the chance to do it.
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Women’s basketball in the Region of Murcia: cradle of values