Home Sports Maribel Lorenzo, the Vigo who gave luster to basketball in the 70s

Maribel Lorenzo, the Vigo who gave luster to basketball in the 70s

In Vigo they can be proud of the recognition from the world of basketball for their efforts to train athletes of the highest level. At the end of 2020, this newspaper recognized Raquel Carrera from Orense in its annual awards as a promise of the sports scene in this country. At the end of 2021 justice will be done with one of whom, if she continued with us today, even the very young Raquel, already more reality than promise in Valencia Basket and in the Spanish National Team, could have learned: Maribel Lorenzo. The latter is part of the first list of names included in the new Hall Of Fame of Spanish basketball, promoted by the FEB with the support of ACE, and his entry into this honor framework will be made official on October 21 at a gala to be held at La Cartuja in Seville.

Carrera was born in 2001. Lorenzo died in 1981. Neither of the two lived close to the period of splendor that Spain has had in the female category in between their careers, a value that will also be rewarded in this first litter of the Hall Of Fame with the victorious generation in 1993 or the inclusion of Amaya Valdemoro, one of the best players in the history of national basketball. For Maribel, reaching a level of competitiveness like the one that Spain has exhibited, both in boys and girls, in the last fifteen years was difficult despite the fact that she was one of those who could make a quality and competitive Selection possible..

María Isabel Lorenzo, a tower that in Vigo they remember with great affection also for its personality outside the playing field, raised Galician basketball, specifically Vigo, in the 70s to levels that could not be conquered before. From the Carmelistas, where he sinned more of clumsiness than dexterity, to the Real Club Celta, to revitalize a celestial team that was not in the elite. There, in the highest positions, it was where Maribel kept the section of the club, which later disappeared and has subsequently had different names. Its 1.85 meters left it as the ceiling of the Women’s League once the team ascended, with Lorenzo being totally key in the pass from Second to First. As if his height were small, he reached the main stage of basketball and he grew, he became immense.

In those years of fierce competition Lorenzo received the logical call of the Spanish National Team to be one of the scoring referents of the league competition. El Picadero and Mataró were the toughest rivals Celta had to fight the League with Maribel with them and it was José María Solá, Mataró coach, who surrendered to her quality and included her for the first time in a list in Spain in 1974. He was with the national team 37 times.

It was from Estudiantes and not from Madrid. There he spent four years. He made his debut at 18. She was one of the longest-lived of the time, not only of those that provided maximum quality: she spent 14 seasons in the First Division. The first two League titles of the five that Celta has, those of 1977 and 1979, had his signature. Then his light went out.

In 1981 it was already removed from the high level after having been absolute benchmarks in Vigo, Galicia and Spain. He had been out of the elite for two years. He was, at that time, in the Mercantile Circle. And the worst came. Training with her friends and colleagues for several years she fell and lost consciousness. In the Xeral Hospital they tried to save his life, he remained in a vegetative state for a few days, but the cerebral thrombosis that he was diagnosed with took him away four days later. He was only 34 years old. She left a husband and two daughters. Fate, despite how cruel it was to her, reserved a small farewell for the player who just lost the world to reverberate: that season the champion of the Women’s League was Celta, her Celta.

After her, other indoor players have passed through Vigo who have followed in her footsteps: Betty Cebrián, Mar Xantal, Laura Nicholls, Cindy Lima, Tamara Abalde… And from another cut, like Alba Torrens… And technicians like Cristina Cantero, the one who now she occupies the bench and years ago she directed operations as a player, or Miguel Méndez, recently appointed as Spanish coach of the Absolute … Maribel Lorenzo, with her unmistakable number 14 on her back, made basketball grow there, made it a place of pilgrimage which Way for the players who dedicate their lives to this sport.

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