At the age of 39, Marcelinho Huertas will again have the opportunity to compete with the Brazilian national team under his own roof. The guard, who played in 2007 Pan and at the 2016 Olympics, both in Rio de Janeiro, confirmed that he will represent the country at the Copa America in September at the Estadio Geraldo in Recife.
– I was lucky to play in Pan Rio, the Olympic Games, and now to finish the Copa America with a flourish. I hope it will be with the title, Huertas said, celebrating the fact that he will compete in another major competition in Brazil before qualifying for the Paris Olympics in 2024, when he aims to graduate from the Brazilian team.
Marcelinho Huertas is a reference for Brazil’s new generation — Photo: FIBA
Brazil will be aiming for a fifth Copa America title and will be looking to repeat the feat of 1984 when they last won the Brazilian tournament in São Paulo, where the point guard was born. Huertas was in the last two victories and believes that the support of his countrymen will be the differential.
– We are going to play Copa America here after many years. It’s a good chance to try to raise the trophy. I participated in 2005 in Santo Domingo and in 2009 in Puerto Rico, we won both versions. It was an incredible experience to win two such international titles. We will meet very competitive opponents, but the fact of playing at home should motivate us, it is our strength.
The experienced, former player of the NBA “Los Angeles Lakers” will be one of the references of the selection led by coach Gustavo de Conti. And Huertas is optimistic about the team’s combination of youth and veterans.
– We have a young team, experienced players who were not in this window due to injury. I hope we will find a balance, a quick connection to play just for these two games (qualifiers, against Mexico, in Puerto Rico and Jaragua do Sul) before the Copa America. I hope that when the 2nd (of September) comes, we will be ready to have a good tournament and fight for the title. We will be at home, we respect the other teams who will come with a strong force, but we do not owe anything to anyone, we have already shown that. We’re going to be playing from leg to leg so that when we get to the knockout stages, we’re 100% ready because that’s when the bug hits.
The 39-year-old guard’s name appeared on the Copa América pre-selected list released by the Brazilian Basketball Confederation this Monday. Besides Huertas, another experienced name stands out: Raul Neto. Among the highlights of the new generation is Jago Matheus. In total, coach Gustavo De Conti has 25 athletes on his preliminary list. In the coming days, the technical committee will announce the final call of the athletes who presented training at the Pinheiros Stadium in Sao Paulo on August 14.
Jago Mateus – Ratio Ulm-ALE
Marcelo Huertas – Tenerife-ESP
Rafael Luz – Andorra-ESP
Eliño Corazza – Sao Paulo
Raul Neto – Cavaliers-USA
Alexey Borges – Minas Tennis Club
Scott Machado – Hapoel Eilat-ISR
Jorginho – SESI Franca
Cayo Pacheco – Pesaro-ITA
Vitor Benite – Gran Canaria-ESP
Guilherme Deodato – Flamengo
Didi Luzada – Blazers-USA
Reynan – SESI Franca
Guilherme Santos – Warriors-USA
Leonardo Meindl – Urban Transyvalnia-ROM
Gabriel Jau – Flamengo
Rafael Mineiro – Flamengo
Lucas Diaz – SESI Franca
Bruno Caboclo – Celtics E10-USA
Marcio Santos – SESI Franca
Lucas Mariano – SESI Franca
Rafael Hetsheimer – Flamengo
Tim Soares – Sydney Kings-AUS
Augusto Lima – Unica-ESP
Gustavo De Conti – Flamengo
Helinho Garcia and Vitor Galvani – SESI Franca and Corinthians
Frederico Santos – Flamengo