End Of Line For Inspirational Valdemoro

17.12.2013

BASKETBALL IN EUROPE

13. Amaya Valdemoro (Spain)
Time to say good bye to one of the most recognisable women's basketball players in the last two decades

Legendary women's basketball star Amaya Valdemoro has called time on her glittering career six months after landing a glorious gold medal at EuroBasket Women.

The Spanish star brought down the curtain on one of the most inspirational careers imaginable at an emotional media conference in Madrid.

Despite playing for a host of top clubs in EuroLeague Women and also tasting life in the WNBA, Valdemoro confessed her most memorable moments came on the roller-coaster ride whenever she donned her beloved Spanish vest.

The unequivocal leader and heartbeat of the Spanish national team, Valdemoro was a driving force and an inspiration whenever she stepped onto the hardwood.

"One of the things I feel most proud of is to have worn the national team colours 258 times" said the 37-year-old.

"I have played with twelve different teams, but I was always ready to wear the Spanish jersey.

"My mother saw me make my debut with the national team and that character I displayed on the court is something I owe to her."

Valdemoro also took time to pay tribute to fellow veteran Elisa Aguilar, who also stepped down after their golden farewell together at EuroBasket Women in France.

She insisted, "My biggest achievement are the friends that I have made along the way and especially one friend in particular - Elisa (Aguilar).

"We have complemented each other really well."

The mutual love and respect was reciprocated, with Aguilar perfectly encapsulating the affection and appreciation felt by those who benefitted from the pride, passion and purpose that Valdemoro always delivered.

"Today, the best Spanish player of all time is stepping down," stated Aguilar.

"Thank you for being our guiding star and for setting an example to follow."

One of the biggest supporters of Valdemoro has been Spanish Basketball Federation President, Jose Luis Saez and unsurprisingly, he offered a glowing tribute to her accomplishments.

"I have lived intensely with Amaya - not only as a sportswoman, but as a person," he explained.

Amaya Valdemoro (CSKA Volgaburmash)
Valdemoro stepped out for some of the best club teams in the World, here in the colours of the now defunct CSKA Volgaburmash

"Amaya is one of those individuals that allows you to dream and who always believed that her place was on the podium, even though the circumstances indicated the contrary.

"There are no doubts that Amaya has been a player of a great level."

Valdemoro stepped out twice at the Olympics, participated at four FIBA World Championships for Women tournaments and found herself competing at EuroBasket Women a staggering eight times.

She was arguably at her prime when she was crowned MVP of EuroBasket Women 2007 in Italy, pouring in 26 points during the Final against Russia - even though she couldn't quite get Spain over the line.

In typical Valdemoro fashion, she bowed out at her retirement conference by making everyone in attendance smile from ear to ear.

"I heard that I'm never going to put on my national team jersey on again, but that's a lie because I'm going to put it on again right now," she joked.

And after laughs from those present, one of the legends of the women's game departed, leaving a truly fabulous legacy and one that is likely to continue to inspire for a very long time to come.

 


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