Place of Birth: Newark, United States of America
University: University of Aveiro (POR)
Sport: 3x3 Basketball Published 22 October 2019
How and why did you get involved in 3x3 Basketball?
I've been playing 5x5 Basketball for eleven years and had the opportunity to try 3x3 four years ago. It was a good experience so I’m still playing it today.
What do you study, and how do you balance your study, training and competition?
Right now, I’m finishing my Master’s Degree in Education. I started playing when I was 12 years old and it has always been easy to balance both practices and studies. Honestly, playing Basketball helps clear my mind from school and relieve some stress.
Tell us about your experiences at the European Universities Championships 2019. Was it your first time at a EUSA event, and what did you enjoy the most?
It wasn´t my first time at a EUSA event as I´ve played 5x5 in Slovenia (2015), Croatia (2016), Hungary (2017) and Poland (2019). However, this year was my first time in an EUSA 3x3 Basketball tournament.
The high level of quality of the competition instantly makes you a better player, but I think you grow even more as a person by meeting and interacting with different cultures. That and spending time with my teammates on and off the court was definitely the best part of the event.
“The high level of quality of the competition instantly makes you a better player, but I think you grow even more as a person by meeting and interacting with different cultures.”
Why do you think taking part in university sport is important?
I believe that playing sports has a direct correlation with performing better at school. It teaches you discipline, how to stay focused and how to better manage your time.
The University of Aveiro has made an important investment in its sports programmes and teams, and has been rewarded with students bettering their performance in sports and academically. So, for me, it was a pleasure to represent my university playing the game I love.
Next year the European Universities Games are taking place in Belgrade, Serbia. Are you hoping to be there, and if so, what you hope to achieve?
Yes, our goal as a team is always to win the National Championship and therefore qualify for the European Universities Games. In the last two 5x5 EUSA events we participated we were one win away of the semi-finals, so next year we want to achieve the top four.
What is your favourite university sport moment?
Every game in the European events is a challenge, so every win that we conquer is a fantastic moment for us.
What is your message to European student-athletes like yourself?
Have fun, enjoy the game you love, meet different people and experience different cultures.
EUSA would like to congratulate Mariana for her success at the 2019 European Universities Championships, and we hope to see her next year at the European Universities Games 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia!