By Agustín Aboy
Although his name has long drawn the attention of the media and the entire Argentine basketball scene, Florence Chagas He is only 19 years old. And at such a young age, it is no longer a great promise of the sport of our country to become a reality, but still with a very promising future ahead.
After training in various clubs in our country and shining with the youth teams in international tournaments, Chagas went on to Familiar with Schio Italian, a leading club in Europe that set its eyes on her a while ago, signing her when she was just 16 years old. This season it was loaned to USE Rosa Scotti, another first division club in the Italian competition, one of the best in the world and in which it is gaining prominence with the aim of going even further. Project her as the first Argentine to reach the WNBA It no longer seems illogical.
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About 1.80 meter tall and capable of acting as a bodyguard or base, Chagas is averaging 9.5 points, 3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 23.8 minutes per game. He is a key piece of the team led by WNBA player Kamiah Smalls, a USE Rossa Scotti who ranks fifth in the standings right now and who aims to be one of the protagonists in the upcoming Playoffs.
The Argentine made her debut in the team scoring 16 points in a match for the Super Cup and showed that she is ready to have minutes in a top competition. Just over two years ago he had the luxury of making his debut in the prestigious Euroleague still at a youth age.
In the senior team Chagas already takes place after having been the protagonist of great achievements with youth teams: In the 3×3 mode, he won the bronze medal at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, while individually made history at the 2018 U17 World Cup when registering a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in a historic victory for Argentina against Spain. Florencia was the leader of that tournament in assists, with 6.6 per game. His triple-double was the first in all history of the competition.
Not overshadowing the impressive 🇦🇷 @CABBoficial win over @BaloncecestoFEB 🇪🇸 in overtime!
— FIBA (@FIBA) July 22, 2018
In 2019 Chagas led the Argentine team that finished twelfth out of 16 teams in the world championship U19 managing to beat Luisa Geiselsoder’s Germany, chosen in the 2020 WNBA Draft by Dallas Wings. The Buenos Aires averaged 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2 assists in that World Cup.
When could the doors of the WNBA open for her? It is eligible from the 2021 Draft that will take place on April 15 and the Lines site locates it projected in the third round Although speculation still seems very premature and if their selection does not occur this year, the young Argentine you will have other opportunities later.
“Obviously it’s a dream, I think of all of them, from a very young age. After understanding what Euroleague basketball is, the WNBA is always everyone’s dream“, said Florencia in an interview last year with the official FEBAMBA website and reaffirmed it months later in an interview with the CABB website: “Being in the draft and having the chance to play in the best league is a goal that I will never stop looking for. Today the main one is to establish myself in Europe and then yes to be able to think about being in a draft or reaching that competition where the best are. Would be a dream”.
There it could be measured with Allie Quigley, the excellent shooter of Chicago Sky whom he pointed out as a reference, with the new sensation of the league, Sabrina Ionescu, or also with total cracks like A’ja Wilson, Nneka Ogwumike, Skylar Diggins o Sylvia Fowles Those he already faced in the Olympic qualifier for Tokyo 2020 held in Bahía Blanca at the end of 2019, in a match won by the United States 91-34.
After having taken his first steps with the orange in the CASA club of Padua playing against men until they allowed it, the path of the gem of Argentine women’s basketball continues to gain momentum and allows you to dream of whatever goal you set for yourself. The world of the NBA-WNBA has already passed by him several times: it was the MVP of the All-Star Game of the American campus of Basketball Without Borders held in Bahamas in 2017 and both in 2018 and 2019 it was summoned to the campuses held during the All-Star Weekend with the best youth basketball players from around the world.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.