Helena Orts Wins Gold at European Championship
Rising sophomore Helena Orts of the Fairfield University women’s basketball team is having a golden summer on the court. Orts and her native country of Spain turned gold medal performance in the U20 European Championship, going a perfect 9-0 to claim the title. She is now a member of Spain’s U19 club, participating in the FIBA World Championship in Russia.
“I’m very happy for Helena,” Head Coach Joe Frager said. “When we recruited her we talked about what an honor it is to be able to represent your country in international competition, and we fully support her in this incredible opportunity.”
At the European Championship, Orts averaged 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest as the host country of Spain went undefeated. She also shot .559 from the floor, which ranked second in the entire tournament. In the Championship Game against France, Orts netted eight points and tied for the team lead with five rebounds.
Now playing at the World Championship, the third-ranked Spanish national team is 2-2 with wins over Egypt and the Netherlands. Against the Netherlands, Orts recorded her first career double-double in international competition with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Third-ranked Spain holds a 1-2 record at the end of pool play. The team opened competition with a loss against the top-ranked United States, which featured collegiate stars from Duke, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Florida State and the University of Connecticut. Spain was also on the short side of a three-point loss to eighth-ranked China.
“With the competition that Helena is facing and the numbers that she is putting up, there is no doubt that she is improving day-by-day,” Coach Frager said. “Being part of these high-pressure games and having the opportunity to play in front of a thousand fans is a moment she will never forget, and it will definitely help her going forward in her career at Fairfield.”
Following the win over the Netherlands, Orts and the Spanish National Team will challenge Belgium in the Quarterfinals on Friday. Spain was runner-up at the U19 World Championship in both 2011 and 2014.
Helena Orts is seated in the first row, second from the left.