Helena Orts Brings Back Bronze from Youth Olympic Games
Fairfield women’s basketball freshman Helena Orts spent her summer enjoying the opportunity of a lifetime. While most athletes spent their offseason training for the upcoming collegiate season, the incoming Spanish forward donned her national colors for the 3x3 Basketball Tournament in the Youth Olympic Games, held in China.
“It was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had,” Orts said. “It was incredible, everything about it, where we live, how it was organized, and to play in the Youth Olympic Games; it was incredible.”
Orts spent the past two years playing for the Spanish selection, and when her coach had to select four players from the squad, Orts was surprised that her name was called.
“I started to cry,” Orts said. “I remember that it was five o’ clock in the morning and my friend and I couldn’t sleep. The emotion was so sweet.”
“It's an honor to get to represent your country,” eighth-year Head Coach Joe Frager said. “She has been playing with and against some of the best.”
Orts competed in the 3x3 tournament and her squad enjoyed much success. The Spanish national team won a bronze medal and had victories over Germany, Brazil, and host China. With a game only lasting ten minutes, Orts averaged 3.9 PPG and had her best game in the bronze medal contest, when she scored seven of her team’s 12 points in a one point victory over Hungary.
“Helena is an agile, face-up four, and a strong rebounder with a high motor,” Frager said. “She plays well in a pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop game, and that translated well for the Youth Olympics and at Fairfield.”
The opportunity to play against some of the best talent around the world has given the incoming freshman some unique experiences she can use to make the collegiate transition easier.
“There were people very strong and very talented,” Orts said. “I could learn a lot about them and it will prepare me to know what is going to come.”
“It's always a transition for any freshman, especially for one that is coming from another country,” Frager said. “We need to be patient with Helena, but I'm confident that with her ability and competitiveness, she'll be just fine.”
With the experience playing in a world organized event behind her, Orts knows that the memories and excitement will follow her for a lifetime.
“It was indescribable,” Orts said. “Every five minutes our coaches told us to think what you are living because you might never live it again.”