With the Atlanta Dream's 2014 season underway, one of the new faces on the court is Nadia Colhado. Joining the Dream from Brazil, this is Colhado"s first time playing in the WNBA.
At the age of 13, Colhado was introduced to the game of basketball, and has not turned away since. She was also a swimmer for seven years.
Having played ball in her home country the majority of her career, transitioning to the United States has been a little challenging for Colhado. In particular, the skilled players and strenuous practices in the WNBA were big adjustments.
"Everything is new for me," Colhado said. "The level of the players is better here, and the practices are more intense than in Brazil."
But Dream veteran center Erika de Souza has been very helpful throughout the process. Colhado and de Souza have history together after playing with each other in Brazil, both as members of the National Team and for the club team Sport Club Recife. From those experiences, including playing in the 2012 Olympics together, Colhado has looked up to de Souza as a mentor and big sister, both then and now.
"Since I've known Erika, she has informed me about the environment here, which helped prepare me," Colhado said. "She has been a good influence."
Today, Colhado is more excited about her new journey and playing the sport she loves.
"In the beginning, it was really difficult," Colhado said. "But right now, I feel very confident that I can play and help my teammates. I hope that this year we can go farther and not just be winners in the Conference, but WNBA Champions, too."