This archived article was written by: Taina Soranzo
Brazilian sophomore, Ana Carolina Da Silva Borges gives support to her teammates both on and off the court. The 22-year-old is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Borges started playing basketball when she was 9 years old. She played for the Brazilian National team for 3 years.
In 2011 Coach Adjalma “Vando” Becheli Jr. saw Borges playing on a club team and invited her to come for a visit at Utah State University Eastern. In 2012 she came for a visit. In 2014 she signed to come to USUE.
Borges is one of the oldest on the basketball team, she gives a lot of support for her teammates inside and outside the court. On the court, she is one of the most important players averaging with 9.4 points, 5.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Leaving her family and friends in Brazil to come to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to follow her dreams seemed easy at first. “I already wasn’t living with my parents in Brazil so I thought that leaving Brazil would not be that hard, but my freshman year was really hard for me especially to stay away from my mom who I am really close too.
“Playing in the U.S. was always my dream so I’ve tried to hold on to that. My sophomore year is easier, I can understand and speak English a lot more, I’ve made a lot of friends. Having another Brazilian helps me a lot to feel like home. My teammates always gave me support since my first year, but my biggest support was and still is, Coach David Paur and Coach Vando.”
Borges said, “My teammates are always a huge support for me inside and outside the court. I’ve had a lot of experiences with different teams in Brazil, so playing here in the U.S. at first was a lot different of what I’ve played.
“The girls are pretty young, but at the same time they learn a lot with me, I learn a lot with them. Being able to play with another Latin American girl here, from Chile, who I’ve already played against in the National Team’s Tournaments, is one of the things that helps me a lot here.
“Barbara Cousiño is one of my biggest supports here inside and outside the court because I don’t have as much patience as she does, and she always tries to calm me down. I believe that our team has improved a lot since the beginning of the season, so I’m sure we will do our best in the Scenic West Athletic Conference Regionals. We are excited to show up and try to go to Nationals, which is our biggest goal this year.”
Borges’ plans are to keep playing basketball and get her degree here in the U.S. “My biggest dream was to play D1. I’m focused in this season so I haven’t decided where I’m going next year yet.”
Sophomore night is coming up and her family won’t be present. She said, “I’m really excited for my sophomore night even though my family will not be here. I’ve made a lot of friends that are just like a family for me here, so I believe that my sophomore night will be an exciting night.”
Borges does not want to go back to Brazil after she finishes school in the U.S. “My plans are to stay here in the U.S., even though I will probably have to stop playing basketball. Living in the U.S. was always my dream and I only want to go to Brazil to visit my family and friends. I believe that this is also what my mom wants for me.”
Even though she does not want to live in Brazil, she misses her family for sure, but misses the Brazilian food a lot too. “My first year the food was one of the biggest problems for me here, it was hard to adapt myself with the American food.”