Leticia Soares, altruistic patron of Ambitions Girondines

But the young woman is only 25 years old. And her ubiquitous smile is just a little wider to make her look a few years younger. Until he fully realized that basketball could offer him a lot more than this candle he accidentally stuck to during gym lessons at school at the age of 12. The child, the last of four sisters and suffering greatly from the separation of his parents, spun bad cotton. The ball brought him back on track.

“Basketball was not something serious for me at first. It was just a way out of the house. As I grew up, my parents forced me to invest in this business. They were right, because this sport gave me criteria. This allowed me to improve in my studies and behavior: I learned to listen, to use the right words to express myself, to ask for forgiveness”, explains Leticia. Who moves fast, very fast. At 15, graduating from the Instituto Mangueira, he honors his first national youth selection, travels and sees a way to engage more openly.

Separation is a necessary step

“Then I focused on basketball, it was a way to recover and take better care of my body. Everything became more serious.” At the age of 18, he decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Portugal. A necessary step to continue spreading your wings. “My parents encouraged me to try.”

Leticia also played volleyball at school. The collective spirit of basketball prevailed. With some enthusiasm for 3×3, “faster, more explosive and therefore more physically demanding”, he also trained in the Brazilian selection.


At Torres Novas, he experiments with a more controlled game. Assimilation that made it possible to realize a dream: playing in the United States. However, he could have missed the adventure entirely. “I received a message on Facebook, but because I don’t speak English, I didn’t pay attention to it,” he says with a laugh. At the time, his coach warned him: no, it’s not a joke, Odessa University in Texas really wants him to join their ranks. He spent two years there, progressing in the game… and in English.

“Basketball taught me to listen, to use the right words to express myself, to ask for forgiveness”

Then the communication student, treated by four universities, leaves for San Diego. California weather is no stranger to his choice. The presence of a Portuguese coach with the Toreros, who immediately established a privileged relationship. “The beginnings were difficult, especially physically: I got up at 5 in the morning to go jogging, followed by two daily exercises, classes… I survived the first year. Secondly, I could play as I wanted.” In San Diego, Leticia is flourishing for good. “I’ve grown a lot as a person and as an athlete,” he said.

If the Covid epidemic killed his hopes of continuing to stay in America, the Brazilian, who later returned to his native country, did not lose any of his passion for the game. He put his professional career on hold and chose Rosalia and Spain. league, it’s time to finish his studies, then he makes two short trips between Brazil and Portugal, waiting to realize another dream: to come to France.

“The Good Soldier”

In Villenave-d’Ornon, Letizia admits it: if she likes her new environment, the opponent falls to the ground, torn between the team and the conviction that patience is appropriate, young and inexperienced at this level. , and with it fully realizing that even a season passes quickly and time may run out. In the heat of the moment, he was frustrated at not being able to properly express himself in French to guide himself.

However, he abandons the strategy of wanting to rely on him too much. “Instead of giving all the balls to me, we have to be more collective to gain momentum. I prefer to stand aside: I am a good soldier.” He is committed to the values ​​of a sport that definitely changes his life.

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