Ana Pinheiro’s impressive basketball journey

Gepubliceerd op 27 juni 2024 om 13:00

Ana Pinheiro’s story is not just about the points scored or the games won, but about resilience, growth, and the unwavering pursuit of dreams. Into her life and career, Ana explores the milestones that have shaped her into the player she is today. Photo: FIBA Europe

Early beginnings in Braga

Ana Pinheiro has swiftly ascended the ranks of professional basketball. Her journey began in her hometown, where she was first introduced to the sport. "I started playing in Braga, my first club, and it's where I was born and grew up," she recalls. "In the beginning, I didn't like it, but then I started to pay attention in practice, and I began to like it after that." After starting in Braga, Ana made a nice move to CP Natacao (CPN). She also participated in a specialized training camp in Lisbon, which she credits for her development. "I went to a camp in Lisbon for two years, and then I came back to CPN," Ana explains. This move proved pivotal in shaping her career.

Basketball within her family

Her family played a crucial role in Ana’s basketball journey. Her older brother, in particular, was a significant influence. "It was mostly because of my oldest brother that I start playing basketball. He gave me that kind of passion," Ana says. "When bad things were happening in school or life, I would come to practice, and everything would stop. It was just me and the ball."

Achievements and challenges

Ana’s career has been marked by some important achievements and some challenges as well. She has played on the highest league of Portugal since season 2022-2023, at CPN. "I was really happy to be playing with my teammates and to have minutes on the court. It was a huge thing for me. However, a knee injury in January 2023 kept me out for quite some time. It was really sad, because I was at a really good performance level," she recalls. Despite this, Ana made a swift recovery and returned to play, demonstrating her resilience and determination.

Playing for the national youth team

Representing the national youth team of Portugal has been a highlight of Ana’s career. She played for the national team at various levels, starting with the under 16 team. "It was a huge thing," she remembers. “The first time I sang the national anthem, I think I cried. My experience with the U18 team in 2022 was very memorable, as we won a silver medal. We were an underrated team back then and surprised everyone, including ourselves honestly."

Inspiration to young Players

Ana’s journey serves as an inspiration to young players aspiring to reach professional levels. She emphasizes the importance of hard work and belief in one’s dreams. "You have to be hardworking because success comes from working as a team. If you have a dream, you have to think it's possible, always! Look at Cristiano Ronaldo for example. He made almost everything possible, and I like that a lot."

Ana’s journey from a young girl in Braga to a rising star proves her dedication and passion. Her story would not only be an inspiration to young athletes in Portugal, but to players all over the world. Photo: FIBA Europe

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