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Can an American Basketball Star Transform This Struggling Mexican Team | The Z Team

December 3, 2019


You weren’t supposed to do
that! Shall we wake up? Out! OUT! The city of Chihuahua,
in northern Mexico. Home to struggling
basketball team El Palomar. Made up of women from
the Tarahumara tribe… ..each year they
compete in a specially organised indigenous
league. It’s been so many years of us
always losing, and a few of us joke and
ask why we bother playing when we always lose. But with full-time jobs
and children to take care of, the team have
no time to practise… I don’t really
know the rules and I would really
like to know them. ..have never been coached… I do like playing but I’m not
really sure what we are doing. ..and have little idea
of rules or positions. This season they’ve only
won one game, and in four years have never
made the league playoffs. I would like to win but
I just don’t know when. However, this year they
don’t have to go it alone. Hoping to transform
their fortunes is Olympic gold medallist
Kara Wolters. Kara was part of the
US national women’s basketball squad
for four years, during which she
achieved Olympic gold at the 2000 Games in Sydney. It was one of the
best experiences of my life. She’s now in
Chihuahua hoping to impart her knowledge
to the team. I hope that they welcome me and that they’re
excited that I’m here. I’m sure they’re a
little nervous just like I’m a little nervous.
They don’t know what to expect AND I don’t know what to
expect. The indigenous league was
formed to bring together young women who have moved
from their family homes in the countryside to the city,
in search of a better life. League co-founder Angel
has followed the team since they started. Hi! – Hi.
– Nice to meet you. As Kara doesn’t speak
Spanish he’ll be assisting during her week in charge. Let’s chat. Tell me
a little bit about the team and what I need
to know about them. Well, the team is, they
need a lot of practice but you’re going to like it
because they enjoy it a lot. The team know that a
former Olympian is on the way. Now it’s time for them to meet. – Hola.
– Hola. I hope you’re excited. I’m
excited to teach you some of the basketball that I’ve
used to become an Olympian. Let’s win at the
end of the week! I was moved… I was moved
when she came in. I had never seen
such a big lady. I am happy to see her. As the team have
never been coached, Kara’s starting
with the basics. Wrist back. My elbow never comes out, it’s always in line
with my knee. You’re going to spread your
hands and put the ball with the lines going
this way into your hand. Yes, even though
you missed, even though you missed,
that was good form. I am having fun, I’m very
lucky to have a coach. Look at that,
look at that! She is very kind
and very patient with us. Like the rest of the women,
team captain Lupita came to Chihuahua for the chance of a
better life. I came to the city to work because my mother could not
afford for me to go to school. If I could have carried on
studying I would have. So I came here to
work at 15. I have been there
for 12 years. I moved here to
live a better life. And not to go hungry. I now play basketball so I don’t get involved doing
other things. And it’s something
to get out the house. It’s the end of
the first session, and any nerves Kara or the team
had have now vanished. Now, this is when we bring it
in for a huddle and you have to get as tall as
me. Come on, come on. Can you tell them, they
have to say “dream big”. – Dream big.
– Wahooo! Good job, ladies,
we’ll see you tomorrow. I learned things that
I didn’t know. For example, how to shoot
the ball the right way… ..and to make passes. For her second training
session, Kara is looking to further the team’s understanding
of the game by teaching proper positioning. A concept
that’s entirely new to them. I’m going to try to throw in
a little more at them and teach them…
basically positions. During a game the five players
on court can be substituted at any time. Something made very much easier
if they know their positions. This would be “one”,
the point guard. This would be “two”. And she’s your shooting guard. Norma, tres… She’s your wing. And down here, this is called the post. So, this is the way the floor should look,
spread out like this. We’re going to try the offence,
all right, let’s go. I got you…
I’m guarding you. Pass. Teaching basic plays
and positioning should vastly improve
the girls’ game. Screen! Screen her. However, it’s not working. Norma, screen down. Screen, screen down. Lupita. She doesn’t want to move! They’re not staying
with their player, do they not understand how
to play defence at all? No. It was difficult
for me because I had never done
what we did before. We had never been taught that
way and it became difficult. I am feeling a
little frustrated, not even at them –
at the whole situation, because I just want to help
SO much, you just see what they go
through, we see everything and I just want to help
and it’s a frustration of realising I’m not going to
be able to help as much as I want to and as
quickly as I need to, but I am going as
basic as I can do. Kara has just two days left to
coach El Palomar. Having taught the team
correct passing and shooting techniques, Kara now wants
to work on their dribbling. When you dribble,
you want to keep the ball as low as possible. It’s on your fingertips, and never flat-footed, so you’re going to try
to get as low as you can when you practise and do this. Dribble and try different
fingers when you’re practising. You want to do that with
your head up. Everybody grab a ball. A good dribbler keeps
their eyes on the court, never down on the ball, to make
the most of every opportunity. I’m going to hold up my hand
and put up a number, uno, dos, tres… you have to yell out the
number that I’m holding up. It makes you keep your head up. We ready? Dos. Louder! Uno. Tres…cinco,
tres, uno… – Muy bien.
– Dos… You’re going to take this,
that’s to keep you from using your hands,
you have to use your feet. So, Norma, you’re dribbling
right with your right hand, left with your left,
going all the way down, but this time she’s in front
of you playing defence. This drill teaches
the team to defend without physically
blocking their opponent, which will also reduce the
number of fouls they commit. I definitely see improvement.
They’re still giggly but they’re…they’re learning! You can see kind of the
light bulb going on and they’re getting
better today, for sure. It’s the day before the two
league games that will decide if El Palomar reach the
playoffs for the very first time. Hola, how are you? Today’s the last day
and I’m sad… because I have so much more
I still want to teach you. Go get it. Muy bien!
There you go! Get the ball back,
there you go. Muy bien, muy bien! When you turn,
keep it up, go ahead. Keep it up, good. This will help in the game
because often times they bring it down and
the ball gets knocked away. If I can teach them to keep
it up, and then pass it, they can go down
the floor quicker. I am happy that this week Kara trained with us,
because we learned a lot. Uno, dos, tres, dream big! There you go! I think we have a good
chance of winning. El Palomar are about
to play two games that will decide if they
make the playoffs. They need to win both. Their first opponents are
the Orquideas. Just one place apart
in the league, there’s everything to play for. You have done such a good job
this week, there’s no reason you
can’t beat that team. You have to believe up here
that you can beat that team. You have to believe it. Try to remember some of the
things I taught you this week. Now let’s go kick some butt! Orquideas score first but
El Palomar are quickly on the attack… ..and some solid
passing brings things level. Muy bien! With two minutes to go,
the scores are tied and El Palomar
are on the break. Yes, shoot! Well done, Cecilia! At the start of the
second quarter, the team have substituted some
of their best players, and the Orquideas seize the
opportunity to level the score. They have to keep
their hands up on defence. The quarter ends El Palomar 7,
Orquideas 10. One of the biggest things
you guys are doing, you’re making these crazy
passes and the person receiving the pass is standing there,
so it gets stolen. Kara’s training is
paying off – a three-point shot from Ines
levels the score. Two minutes later and she does
it again – another three points. Go, go, go, go! Yes! And by the end of the quarter,
they’re up by one point, Orquideas 17 – El Palomar 18. It’s the start of the
fourth quarter, El Palomar have to stay in front
for ten more minutes. The Orquideas aren’t
giving in yet. A pass from Cecelia to Norma
is intercepted. And a minute later the
Orquideas extend their lead further. El Palomar are now
two points behind. There’s 30 seconds left to
play, Lupita shoots, they win the rebound,
a short pass from Norma finds Pilar in space,
and she takes the shot. Shoot! Yes! El Palomar have won. 24 to 22. Whoo! Yes! Yes! Yes! Standing between El Palomar
and a spot in the playoffs are the second best team in
the league…the Estrellas. You guys did an amazing job
in the first game, now you have to find it
somewhere deep inside to not be tired and to play
the best game of your life. El Palomar have never beaten
the Estrellas. They hope with Kara’s
guidance that can change, but it’s not started well. Grab it, grab it, Carolina! At the end of the
first quarter, El Palomar are behind
by just one point. Shoot it! Go on! Good screen! Yes! At the start of the
second quarter, the Estrellas
come out in force. And it ends with El Palomar
down by ten points, at 19 to 9. With 20 minutes to go, the
team finds a burst of energy and baskets from Cecelia… ..and Alejandra reduce
the gap to seven points. Muy bien! It’s the last quarter,
it’s make-or-break time. At the whistle, Pilar
is quick to strike. But Estrellas continue to
pressure and El Palomar are struggling to defend against
their tallest players. Come on, we got a rebound!
Get back! That’s why we have to get back! With 30 seconds left, the team
are giving it their all but can’t seem to
get the ball in the hoop. Muy bien! Get the rebound! It’s the end of the match and
despite battling hard El Palomar have lost 30 to 43, their closest-ever
defeat to the Estrellas. I’m really proud of you guys.
Think about it, you didn’t lose by much to
the best team in the league. I hope you guys had as much
fun this week as I did. It was very good because
now we know a lot, how to steal the ball
and how to dribble. Thanks to Kara we have learned
many other more things. Looking back now, I am so glad
I came on this trip, I…I just had the best time and I feel like
hopefully I’ve changed their lives a little bit, but I also think they
know what they did for me.

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19 Comments

  • Reply Flynn Southam January 26, 2017 at 10:02 am

    First like ?

  • Reply WndN3nw January 26, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Welcome my home

  • Reply 2ossy January 26, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Si si, me gusta.

  • Reply Elysian Petrichor January 26, 2017 at 11:54 am

    My ice hockey team needs this.

  • Reply Enrique Ruiz Ruiz January 26, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    ¡Hasta me emocioné!

  • Reply Engadi Bautista January 27, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Un ejemplo de que no requerimos muros. Podemos trabajar en equipo

  • Reply KoolHandDuke January 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Heartwarming and comical at the same time.

  • Reply XxFireFox4 January 29, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Dam there short as a 12 year old I am taller

  • Reply Aldimiro real February 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    amazing

  • Reply mrjules2008 March 3, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    nice to c an American learn it's mayb not all about winning all the time.

  • Reply mrjules2008 May 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    this is my favourite of this series. these women all have such great smiles.

  • Reply Ziad May 6, 2017 at 5:26 am

    they look like dwarfs next to her

  • Reply allgoo19 May 7, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Great video.
    Heart warming story.

    Life's most important thing, wilingness to improve.

  • Reply Maroine Benhamou August 13, 2017 at 4:29 am

    She should have a professional interpreter with her

  • Reply tyson February 27, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Amazing coach!!!👏👏👏👏👏🤟

  • Reply George Garcia May 30, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    This could be a movie like Cool Runnings.

  • Reply Ed McGuigan July 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    This is brilliant "TV". Wish I had been there to translate because while he was doing his best I didn't hear too much effective translation coming from Angel ( just my vicarious wish to have been able to take part in such a beautiful project ).

  • Reply jason barot August 2, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    She is very tall

  • Reply kyle parton July 8, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Give them some basketball shorts and Jordan's that would improve them a lot lol

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