Spain’s Diaz In Time For Glorious Summer

12.05.2012

U20 WOMEN

10. Yurena Diaz (Spain)
Yurena Diaz is back from injury and ready to help Spain conquer another medal this summer

Injuries are tough to bear for any player.

You could argue that, the more successful a player is, the harder it becomes to deal with such set-backs.

Gran Canaria 2014 player Yurena Diaz had one of those moments at the beginning of last season, when she found out that her sore back required operation due to a hernia disc.

She had just come off an extremely successful summer with the Spanish junior national teams.

After collecting medals at U16 and U18 level in the previous years, the guard earned a bronze medal with the Spanish U18 team at the European Championship Women, leading her squad in steals and shooting a fantastic 48.1 per cent from behind the arc.

Before that, the Las Palmas of Gran Canaria native had already suited up for the U19 outfit of her country, winning a superb silver medal at the World Championship in Chile.

The 19-year old was ready to make the next step in her third year in the EuroCup Women.

But only four games into Spain's Liga Feminina season and after 16 minutes in the EuroCup Women, her season came to a premature end.

After sitting out what proved to be a long winter, the shooting guard is hoping for a return and another golden summer with Spain.

Preparations for the U20 Championship will not start until July and so Diaz has time to get ready after her return to action in late April.

Spain take on Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania in Group A and she hopes to be on the squad when they begin their title defense in Debrecen, Hungary.

"If I am in good shape maybe I will have the chance to be a part of the U20 team and go to the European Championship," she told FIBAEurope.com.

For the coaching staff of the Spanish U20 team it will be hard to look past the teenager, if she is healthy.

In the usually very balanced teams she has played on, she has always played big minutes and impressed with the rare combination of fierce defense and precise three-point shooting.

She has also proven to be a careful ball handler and a precise passer, leading to 2.5 assists per game in the U18 European Championship Women 2011.

"Being on the national team is very important to me.

"I can practice with the best players from Spain and that helps me a lot to improve my game.

"For me, it is a matter of pride and responsibility to wear the Jersey of the national team."

While the energetic wing player has been a regular fixture on the successful Spain teams, she does not sit back and relax.

"I would like to play on a higher level in the Liga Feminina and of course the big goal is to be part of the senior national team of Spain one day."

 


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