|21 June 2006|
Spanish international star and BC Volgaburmash forward Amaya Valdemoro is preparing for the FIBA World Championship in Brazil later this summer.
She spoke about her team's chances of success and responded to your other questions in our latest installment of the Fan Interview.
Jesse - Badajoz, Spain: How do you think that Spain will do in the World Championships? Is there a possibility that Spain will finish in the top five, or even better, in the top three? Good luck and I hope we finish in the best possible position.
Valdemoro: I think we played beyond expectations at the last World Championship and in the 2004 Olympics. Teams like the Czech Republic, United States and Russia are better than us physically, so I think it will be tough to be in the top three. Our goal is to reach the quarter-finals and finish in the top five. We need to play aggressive, go after every loose ball and give 120%. We have to take each game separately and then see what happens.
Carlo - Milan, Italy: The first time I met you was in Velica Trnovo at the European Championship and you arrived second behind Italy. I followed you also in the the WNBA. How was your first year with Samara and what will your situation be next year?
Valdemoro: My time in Samara was great. The team, managers and players were wonderful. It was difficult to adjust to another country with other foods and cold weather, but I have the best team-mates in the world in Samara. Unfortunately I had injuries throughout the year, so I will be able to give more next year. I signed with Samara so that way I could win a title. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that but we came close as we lost the final in Brno. They played great and deserved to win. Overall my first year in Samara was a positive one. I signed for two years so I will be back again next season.
Nicolas - Atina: What are you going to do after your active playing career?
Valdemoro: I would like to do something with women’s basketball - maybe working in a federation. Particularly I would like to help Spanish or European basketball. But for sure I want to do something with sports. Sports has been a part of me since I was young and I want to always be involved with it.
Maja - Serbia: Hi Amaya! I would like to say that you're fantastic, and I love the way you play. What do you think of Serbian basketball and which is your favourite club and player?
Valdemoro: I have played many times against Serbian teams and they are have one of the best talent levels in the world. Last year, they didn’t play as well as they are used to, but they are still difficult. Milica Dabovic is a great player and one that sticks out in my mind for how well she played at the last EuroBasket in Turkey. I don’t have a favourite Serbian team.
Pablo - Spain: I am a fan of Salamanca and would like to ask you about your memories from playing with Halcon? Also, if Perfumerias Avenida play in the EuroLeague, what are the possibilities of them doing well?
Valdemoro: Halcon was my first team. I started playing with them when I was 15 years old and I spent my first six years playing there. I am happy they won the Spanish championship. They signed some good players and have a strong starting five. But the EuroLeague Women is tough and it will be difficult in their first year. I am sure they will struggle in some games. But I think it is good for Spanish basketball and it will make our leagues in Spain more competitive. I am happy to have been a part of Halcon's history.
Sergei - Samara, Russia: What do you do in your free time?
Valdemoro: In Samara I hang out with my teammates because there is not much to do there. In Spain, I like to go the cinema, theater and spend time with friends. I put a lot of effort into my friendships and try to be there for them as much as possible.
Miquel - Barcelona: Who was your favourite basketball player growing up?
Valdemoro: I would have to say Drazen Petrovic. I was able to watch him play at Real Madrid and I love the way he played. Then he went to the NBA and after a few years he became a star. Unfortunately he died, so we never were able to see how great he could have been.
Edith - Nancy, France: What off the court issues are important to you?
Valdemoro: I am very concerned about ETA and terrorism in Spain. I care a lot about this and follow what is happening in the news and what the government is doing. I care about my family and friends. I don’t like wars and I am also concerned about the killing of animals and environmental issues.
Elisabeth – Valencia, Spain: What area of your game would you like to improve?
Valdemoro: I want to improve all areas of my game. When I work out in the summer, I focus on all aspects. One thing I will pay more attention to this summer is my dribbling and ball-handling.
Donna, Washington, DC, USA: Will you ever go back and play in the WNBA?
Valdemoro: I don’t think so. I played in the WNBA for five seasons and had a great experience playing in the US. It is really hard to be away from my country when I play with Samara in the EuroLeague Women and I don’t want to be away from Spain for a whole year if I had to go to the States for the WNBA. I also want to focus on being a part of the national team.
Ekaterina, Vologda, Russia: What do you like better, playing in the EuroLeague Women or the WNBA?
Valdemoro: I like the European style of play better. In the WNBA, it is more individual and physical. There are also more scouting. The EuroLeague Women is getting more and more competitive and is improving each year.
Enzo, Turino: Have you been following the NBA Finals? Who do you want to win?
Valdemoro: I have been following the finals and I want Miami to win. The next game will be tough for both of them. I think that the series will go seven games. Dallas still has home-court so I still think they are in good shape and have an advantage.