Monday, May 26, 2008

Player Profile: Iziane Castro Marques

Name: Iziane Castro Marques
Born: March 13, 1982 (26)
Place of Birth: Sao Luis, Maranhao, Brazil
Height: 6-0 (1.83 m)
Weight: 140 (63.5 kg)

Colleges: None.

Years Pro: 5

Position: Guard/Small Forward

Kudos: 1) Led Paulista League in Brazil in scoring -- at the age of 19
2) Represented Brazil in the 2004 Olympics. The Brazil team finished fourth, with Castro Marques scoring 15 points per game -- second on the Brazil team.

Nickname: Izi

Profile: Castro Marques has been a professional player since the age of 15. After growing up in Sao Luis (near the Amazon), "Izi" moved to Sao Paulo to join the Osasco team and played with them from 1997 to 2001. She would play in Spain for three months, until she was signed to play with the Miami Sol in the 2002 WNBA season.

She left to play for Aix-en-Provence for the offseason, and in 2003, she would play for the Phoenix Mercury. During the offseason, she would continue to perfect her game with European teams in Spain.

Supposedly, Castro Marques had trouble understanding the WNBA game because of the language barrier. When Claudia Neves was also signed by the Sol, Castro Marques finally had a teammate with which she could speak Portuguese.

After playing for the Mercury, Castro Marques would play with the Storm for three years. Seattle figured that Castro Marques would ask for the maximum salary in 2009 and Castro Marques was traded to Atlanta along with the #8 pick in the draft in exchange for the #4 pick and 5-11 guard Roneeka Hodges.

The big deal was that both Castro Marques and Erika DeSousa decided to play this season rather than stay with the Brazilian National Team. She'll probably miss some time during the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament. At least, Castro Marques will have DeSouza to speak her native tongue, and Betty Lennox will be an old Storm teammate also on the Dream roster.

There really isn't much that can be found out about "Izi" on the internet. Izi didn't have a college career in the States, and I'm sure most of the background articles about her are in Portuguese. However, we'll definitely be extending her a warm Atlanta welcome!

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