Player Review: Nadia Colhado
For Nadia Colhado, the 2014 season was a tremendous learning experience. The 25-year-old rookie from Brazil wasn�t sure what to expect when she arrived for training camp, but quickly adjusted to life in the WNBA.
�The biggest difference was playing with and against the players I watched on TV back in Brazil,� said Colhado. �In the beginning there was a distance between us because I was more a fan than a basketball player. But now I feel like I belong.�
Colhado came to Atlanta with a familiarity with the Dream, or at least with her teammates Erika de Souza and Tiffany Hayes. The trio had played together on the Brazilian team Sport Recife during the offseason, and she and de Souza were also teammates on the 2012 Brazilian Olympic team.
Though she was signed only to a training camp contract, her combination of size and strength and her still-developing skills helped her to make the team. She made the squad with the understanding that her playing time might be limited due to the Dream already having de Souza, Sancho Lyttle and Aneika Henry in the post. Still, she took advantage of the opportunity to spend the year with the Dream.
�It was a really good experience,� said Colhado. �I was able to learn a lot from Coach (Michael) Cooper and Teresa (Edwards) and everyone on the staff.�
Colhado played in 16 of the Dream�s 34 regular-season games, averaging 7.9 minutes in those 16 games. She was often productive in her limited minutes, averaging 2.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. Extended those rates to an average of 30 minutes per game, and her figures equate to 10.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest.
Colhado�s two best performances came during victories against the two teams currently playing in the WNBA Finals. She scored eight points in just eight minutes in a victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Aug. 13, and had a six-point, four-rebound, two-block effort in eight minutes during a victory against Chicago on June 7.
Although her limited minutes did not allow her to fully demonstrate her talents, Colhado did show flashes of physicality and skill that make her an intriguing player for the future. She plans to take the knowledge she gained during her rookie season to improve as a player in 2015.
�I need to practice the basic movements on the court while I'm back in Brazil,� she said. �But especially, I need to get stronger, because the post players here are very strong. I think I�m strong enough to play overseas, but not here.�