|07 August 2011|
By Adrian Popa
|Spain's captain, Andrea Vilaró, is a player on a mission and she will do anything she has to on the court to bring Spain closer to the gold medal|
She can dish out a nifty assist, she can score a big three pointer or she can put the ball on the floor and run down the court, beating every opponent off the dribble.
And above all she is not afraid at all to also do the dirty work, fighting hard for every ball on every centimetre of the basketball court. She's Andrea Vilaró Aragones, the Spanish team captain at the Global Vision U18 European Championship Women
It is not the first time that she's leading the team. During the 2009 U16 European Championships held in Naples, Italy, Vilaro was also the team captain of the gold-medal-winning Spanish squad and earned a spot on the All Tournament Team.
She also captained the 2010 U17 World Championship team that finished eighth, where she averaged 10.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists, shortly after helping Spain to the silver medal at the 2010 U18 European Championships in Slovakia.
Now she is in Oradea with only one goal in mind, the gold medal. "We trained hard for this tournament, I am happy that we started good and won the group, and we are only thinking about the gold medal here," says Vilaró.
She chose basketball in school instead of gymnastics or judo and never regrets her decision.
She liked it because of the team spirit and this is one of her main characteristics, she is a real team player. But that's not all.
"In addition, I bring passion, hard work, competitiveness, defense and sometimes three-point shooting," Vilaro says of her game.
Andrea is so far in the top 20 in every major stat category at this tournament, leads the team in assists, with 3.3 per game, and she is the second scorer of Spain, with 11.7 points per game.
Starting next season she will cross the Atlantic to play in the NCAA, where she earned a scholarship at the University of Florida.
"I'm really excited about Andrea becoming a Gator and joining our team" says Amanda Butler, head coach of the team.
"She is very versatile, she has great size and she has great international experience at the highest level. Andrea can give us some minutes at the two-guard position, she can give us some minutes at the three and she can even give us some minutes at the four. She brings another dimension, having competed at the highest level," added Butler in a statement on the official website of the American college team.
Following her dream, Andrea wants nothing more than to follow the footsteps of her idol on the basketball court, the superstar Diana Taurasi.
"I look at all the players, but certainly one of my favorites is Diana," she says.
For the ones who have already seen glimpses of a great future star in her, only the sky is the limit for one of the best young women prospects in European basketball.