Note from BW of Brazil: Even after Brazil’s humiliating defeat in the 2014 World Cup, the nation remains known globally for its dominance in the world of futebol, consistently turning out some of the world’s greatest futebolistas and winning five Cup titles. It is probably for this reason that the name of basketball champion Janeth Arcain is not as well-known throughout Brazil as futebol stars such as Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and now Neymar. But basketball continues to grow in Brazil as shown by a number of Brazilians playing in US-based basketball leagues, the NBA and its feminine counterpart the WNBA.
This past summer, Tiago Splitter, of Santa Catarina, became the first Brazilian to win an NBA title as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. Splitter is part of a growing list of Brazilian men’s players such as Leandro Barbosa, Nenê and Anderson Varejão and female players such as Iziane Castro Marques, Kelly Santos, Érika de Souza playing in the famed American league. But of all of the country’s top b-ball players, Arcain is arguably the most successful having won a number of championships over the course of her long career. Recently, Arcain added yet another honor to her list of accomplishments, this one being the highest honor for an individual player’s career.
Janeth Arcain is elected to the Hall of Fame women’s basketball
The former guard Janeth Arcain will soon be a part of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in the city of Knoxville, Tennessee. The athlete, who played in the United States for the Houston Comets in the WNBA, was nominated in the class of 2015, alongside Lisa Leslie, Janeth Harris and the three coaches. She was home watching the WNBA All-Star Game that occurred last Saturday in Phoenix (USA) when he received the news.
“Entrance into the Hall of Fame is a memory, a great reminder of what I did for sport,” said Janeth in an interview with Gazeta Esportiva.Net. “It’s an honor to be introduced not only with Leslie, but with other people who entered the class of 2015. It was also an honor to have played against her many times for the national team and the WNBA. Leslie was an athlete who inspired many people in basketball,” noted the Brazilian.
Janeth was one of the stars of the Brazilian team that won the World Championship of basketball in 1994. The team, which also featured Hortência, elected best player of the competition, and Magic Paula, secured the title by defeating China in the final.
“The greatest value is the thrill of being in the world rankings, to see Brazil among the four champion seleções (national teams) of the World Championship of Women’s Basketball.” In history, only four teams have reached the top of the competition. The United States has eight titles, Russia has six and Brazil and Australia have one each.
The 20th anniversary of winning the World Championship happened on June 12th, but the date was not much celebrated because of the opening match of the World Cup. “We didn’t do anything to celebrate, but I contacted the girls who were there. We exchanged messages congratulating each other for the moment we experienced. It seems that it wasn’t but it was long ago. It’s a life. It’s good for us to at least remember,” said the athlete.
The São Paulo native side also won two Olympic medals with the national team: a silver in Atlanta 1996 and a bronze in Sydney 2000. Her career also had three podiums in the Pan American Games: Gold in Havana 1991 and silver in 1987 Indianapolis and Rio de Janeiro 2007.
Her success with the Brazilian team led to her being chosen as one of the original players selected the first season of the WNBA, the feminine version of the American basketball league, the NBA, in 1997. She was selected 13th overall in the second round of the draft by the Houston Comets.
Janeth won four consecutive titles of the competition defending the Houston Comets and participated in all team matches in the first seven years before skipping the 2004 season to prepare for the Olympics. A key piece of the Comets dynasty that included four championships from 1997 to 2000, Arcain had her best season in 2001, averaging 18.5 points per game en route to Most Improved Player and First Team All-WNBA honors.
“It was excellent, we experienced in a very beautiful trajectory on the Comets and still nobody has managed to beat that unbeaten record of four titles in a row. I feel very happy to have been part of that generation that started the WNBA,” she said.
Arcain also played for the Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama and Santo André teams in Brazil. She is the third highest scorer in the history of the national team, having recorded 2,247 points in 138 official games, averaging 16.3 points per game. The guard was runner-up of the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro in July 2007, ending her career.
In 2009, Janeth took over as coach of the under-15 Brazilian Seleção (National Women’s Basketball Team) and also became one of the assistant coaches of the main team.
Another player chosen for the class of 2015 female Hall of Fame was Lisa Leslie. With the United States, she won the World Championship from 1998 to 2002 and four consecutive Olympic gold medals in Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
Also nominated were the coach Gail Goestenkors and her colleagues Kurt Budke and Brad Smith.