Honduras' U16: families are the foundation of this process
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Honduras' U16: families are the foundation of this process

HONDURAS – The Honduran U16 men's and women's national teams are looking forward to participating in the 2019 Central American Championships of their respective categories, from March 25 to March 30 in Guatemala.

This nation has high hopes on their youth and thinks about their adult national team, so they will take 24 children between the ages of 15 and 16 to compete in the tournament where the nationals will fight for a spot in the U17 Centrobasket of this year.

But getting to the tournament requires a lot of work and effort. Karloman Bejarano, current physical and assistant coach of both national teams talked to FIBA.com: “In the case of the men's team it was more demanding, since there were 27 players to cover 12 spots. For the women’s there were 16 players.”

He also explained: “It's a very beautiful experience, there's a lot of personal growth involved for coaches and players who are developing in the sport and are facing a new challenge. We know that we're going to do our best effort to represent our country and put Honduras’ name on the highest pedestal, and we hope that helps in future processes.”

The national teams started their practice sessions on February 16; the women's category is led by coach Jorge Pomares, and the men are commandeered by Carlos Santos.

“Pomares is a coach with a lot of experience in youth and adult women’s categories, and he stands out for his character and good performance
Santos, for his part is a coach that specializes in preparing players both in youth and adult leagues. His proven trajectory in national teams cannot be forgotten, as are his achievements in the Central American School Sports Games (CODICADER, for its Spanish acronym),” he added.

The women's national team will debut against Panama on March 26, and will then face Costa Rica, El Salvador and hosts, Guatemala.

The team led by Jorge Pomares is captained by Cristina Larios, and is composed by Norma Ochoa, Natalia Rodríguez, Lizza Godoy, Sofía Morales, Paola Fuentes, Angelly Morales, Jasha Guity, Valentina Roig, Monique Casanova, Isabella Maradiaga and Shantte Siliezar.

“I'm very proud and honored to be able to represent my country's national team and being chosen as captain. We hope to give our best and bring honor to my country's name, because Honduras deserves it. We’re going to give it all in the court,” added Cristina Larios.

Meanwhile, for the men’s categories, their debut will be against Guatemala, and they will then face Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama.

The team led by Carlos Santos and captained by Ornie Brooks is joined by Sebastián McCormick, Kilveth Bertrand, Gabriel García, Juan Carlos Asfura, Mariano Jimenez, Samuel Valladares, Sebastián Asfura, Alex Bendeck, Eduardo Blandon, Samuel Aguilar and Francisco Figueroa.

“I have the honor of being the captain and, like my teammates, I want to get the first place and demonstrate all the effort we did as a team, and individually as a player. This tournament will be a great experience to see the level of basketball in other countries and to compete,” said Brooks.

Meanwhile, Carmen Cubas, member of the national federation's Eligibility Department and Delegation Chief, commented: “This process has been developed against the clock; we've been working hard on all requirements and needs. It's been one of the shortest preparation times, but all the same one of the most comprehensive that we've achieved. Our athletes are the foundation of school sports and represent cities like Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Pueblo Cortés, la Ceiba and Roatán.”

“To our satisfaction as a national federation, we've seen that the families of our athletes give their unconditional support, which creates a positive collective environment, where the participation of parents as a third collaborator has brought an extraordinary support,” she added.

The technical team leading the process, the parents’ collaboration, and the federation’s work have all come together to achieve the U16 national team’s dream.

Honduras are ready to compete, and the expectations of a whole country join them. Hondurans stand out for their unity in the moments they need to be together, and because as a nation they reignite a passion for basketball.