“This is the highest point that you can aspire to as a female basketball player. I’m beyond happy.”
This was the reaction of Ziomara Morrison after becoming the first Chilean basketball player – male or female – to sign with a club in the sport’s most prestigious league.
And it’s a sentiment that is shared by her new club: the San Antonio Silver Stars.
“We are excited about Ziomara coming to San Antonio,” said coach Dan Hughes. “She is a gifted rebounder and a talented young post player.”
The signing will be a huge leap for the budding star, whose talent was first recognized when she was picked up by Chile’s Universidad Católica at the tender age of 11 and who – at only 23 years of age – already has over five years of international experience to her name.
As well as playing in the Italian and Spanish leagues, the 6’ 4’’ center has been a fixture of the Chilean National Senior Women’s Team since 2006, a year after she was the highest scorer, made the most rebounds and blocks and was named player of the tournament at the South American Women’s youth championship.
And for Chile’s national coach Cristián Santander, the young Chilean athlete could not have picked a better place to launch into the next phase of her career.
“She signed with a small team, where there will be less pressure to adapt,” said Santander.
“Ziomara has a big challenge ahead of her. She’s heading to a very competitive tournament, where there are a lot players of great stature. If she becomes accustomed to the new rules and the high pace of the U.S. game, she’s going to have a brilliant future.”
That future will begin on May 19 when the WNBA season kicks-off.