Portland State University is 8,097.55 kilometers from La Coruña, Spain.
This means that Marina Canzobrea junior for the Vikings women’s basketball team, is 5,097.55 miles from home.
It’s far from my home and sometimes the distance makes it difficult. But let’s hear it for FaceTime.
“I love to travel, but I love family a lot, so I try to find a balance. Sometimes it’s hard not to be with them,” the 6-1 striker said. She stays busy so she doesn’t get homesick and she stays in touch. “We FaceTime every day, we talk a lot and, of course, we have fun when we’re together (she went home this spring and plans to go back part of the summer).”
Canzobre’s road to playing so far from home began when she was eight years old.
At first, the practices were “more like games with basketballs”, but then she switched teams and started to see the real contours of the game.
Coming from a sportingly active family, Canzobre was also involved in swimming, gymnastics and artistic rollerblading “which I loved. In fact, there were a few months when I gave up basketball for rollerblading “, she said.
But, his parents Juan Antonio Canzobre Segade and Isabel Suárez Agrasar had other ideas.
“They told me to try this new team and when I tried I never left. I really liked being part of a team,” she recalled.
Canzobre was turning heads with her game in Spain and was part of the guest squad for the country’s U-15 national team. She also played for the Galicia regional team which competed in the Spanish National Championships for four years.
She started thinking about playing in the United States when, at 16, she changed cities and clubs.
“I met more international players and some of my older teammates were preparing to come here to study and play basketball. I didn’t know I could do it until then, but I knew I wanted to keep playing basketball and studying,” she said. mentioned.
The idea was intriguing. “It’s a place [the United States] I wanted to visit and the support that universities give to athletes to help them study while playing and traveling is amazing. It’s a great experience to grow, not only in basketball, but also in my personal life. Also, I always like to experience new things, so it was perfect for an adventure at my age,” Canzobre said.
Discovering this possibility was a bit of a shock, she says, but she was encouraged by her family “who always supported me in every decision. It made me more confident, so I started to prepare for the exams. and everything it takes to make it happen.”
An agency that helps players connect with American college coaches created a highlight video and helped distribute it. Besides Portland State, Canzobre has attracted interest and offers from schools in New York, Florida, Oklahoma and Washington.
Her court credentials in Spain caught the attention of Viking’s coaching staff, who were further drawn to her after a few conversations.
“We had received an email from a recruitment department and also have a contact in Spain who knew her… very personable on the phone, motivated to improve, a good learner and gave us more length and depth in the post “, said first Viking head coach of one year Chelsey Gregg.
Canzobre chose Portland and Portland State because she was comfortable with her conversations with Viking’s coaching staff. “It gave me confidence knowing that I would be away from home. Also, I wanted to have a balance between basketball, studies and lifestyle. I like that the campus is in the city. It gives me options to always have something to do and enjoy it a lot My friends tell me that I always do stuff.
Adjusting culturally was “curious but not difficult,” she said. “Meals here are super early. I’m in the middle of the afternoon and still doing things when my roommates are having dinner.” (Step into a restaurant in Spain at 9:30 p.m. and find yourself almost alone as the dinner crowd begins to creep in. Spain is also listed as one of the most sleep-deprived countries in Europe).
Then there are the little things…” like the people talking to you on the street to tell you how much they love your jacket, the number of people with take-out coffees instead of sitting down with friends instead. “
Portland and La Coruña are very different places, Portland being about three times larger.
A Coruña is a coastal city of 246,700 inhabitants, a fishing, industrial and tourist town in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. Mediterranean climate. It averages a maximum of 74 and a minimum of 62 in August and 56 and 47 in January. Both cities have significant garment industries. Zara, the international low-budget designer, calls La Coruña home, and Portland is home to sportswear giants Nike, Adidas and Columbia Sportswear.
But, above all, Canzobre just finds change an adventure.
On the field, she found the collegiate game more physical and the pace different.
“Here, college is more physical than high school in Spain, but it’s a change that people also experience in the United States. When I played with the old team in Spain, it was also very physical , because these players are in the top leagues and have a lot of experience. But I would say the biggest difference is the movement of the ball. Here the teams score a lot with individual movements and at home we make more passes decisive and we move the ball more,” Canzobre said.
In the past two years, Canzobre has played in all but six games and Gregg loves what she brings to the team.
“Maturity. She is a consummate professional at taking care of her body by eating right, stretching, chilling and sleeping. Marina does a great job of taking care of her academic affairs and getting ready for practices and games. games,” Gregg said.
Gregg appreciates Canzobre’s ability to run on the ground and hit open shots. “She pushes everyone in training and I can always count on Marina to be fit and work hard. She is a great team player and an example for our underclassmen on how we want our student-athletes behave at PSU.”
Academically, Canzobre continued its strong performance and boasts a GPA of nearly 4.0. She’s a two-time Academic All-Big Sky winner and loves the business department at PSU.
She is doing a double major in business administration: management and leadership and has added human resources. Canzobre was recently elected president of the International Business Club of Portland State and is pursuing a certificate in international business, although she is undecided about her post-graduate career path. “I really like PSU School of Business. The professors teach in areas where they have extensive experience, which makes learning more interesting and easier. In addition, they are always ready to help students and there are lots of resources on campus to make everything easier,” she said.
Canzobre has a year left (“I can’t believe how fast it’s gone”) and she and Gregg want to make the most of it.
On the court, Gregg said she wants her to continue to get stronger, focus on rebounding and be an offensive threat down low.
Overall, Gregg said “she’s a great human being, great fun to be around. I’m so glad she’s part of our Viking family…also she brings the culture to our team. It’s fun to hear about the different areas of the world she has seen, learning about the Spanish cuisine she loves and learning about its traditions.”