Girls and Women in Sports Day: Iziane Castro Marques

Iziane Castro Marques uses her own professional experience to teach underprivileged girls and boys in Brazil
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

Who has had the biggest influence on your basketball career?

Hortência, a legend in Brazil and one of the greatest women's basketbal players to ever play.

Who were the top female athletes you looked up to while growing up?

Hortencia, Janeth Arcain, Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes.

Can you describe how it make you feel when a younger girl says she looks up to you as a role model?

It makes me really proud and happy to know that someone, especially a younger girl with all her dreams in front of her, looks up to me as her inspiration in life. It's also a little scary too because we try to live our lives doing good and being the best we can be on and of the court, but we are just human beings like everybody else. We all have our up and downs, but it really makes me think that somewhere someone is watching and I need to give my best effort always no matter what the situation.

The WNBA is well known for its work within the community. What kind of things have you done with fans to grow a relationship between them and the team and enhance the future of women's basketball?

I just try to be a presence in the community and really let them know who we are the WNBA, the Atlanta Dream and what we are all about besides just being professional athletes. We are always building our bases in the community and I try to show everyone how important it is for us to have their support on the court. I love to get out in the community and connect with all kinds of people through different appearances that we do. I also have my own project back in my hometown in Brazil that helps underprivileged girls and boys from ages 8 to 12 understand the game. They get training, but I also want them to learn all the things that only sport can teach you, besides just the hope of being a professional basketball player one day.
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