Brazilians bring big presence to Blues

Nathan Miller

It’s the small things that make the world go round.

Wednesday it was Renata Germano, Lady Blue junior center’s performance in the first half that helped secure a 72-59 victory over Missouri Southern.

“It was a very important win considering we lost to them at home,” said Germano. “We had to win this game to remain in first place for the conference. We just had to come ready to play with confidence and that’s what we did.”

After senior forward Amanda Holmes received her second foul at the 10:11 mark of the first half, the Lady Blues needed a player to step up and fill the void. Germano came to the rescue recording 7 points and 4 rebounds in just 6 first half minutes.

“I try to help in every way I can,” said Germano. “I try to do what [head coach Ron McHenry] tells me, play hard and post.”

Germano, a native of Rio de Janero, Brazil, is in her second year under head coach Ron McHenry after transferring from Southeastern Illinois. Germano came to Washburn after being heavily recruited by four-year student assistant coach Carla Sintra, a former Lady Blue All-American and a member of the 2005 national championship team. Sintra is a native of Goiania, Brazil.

“I just met Carla before I came to Washburn,” said Germano. “She helped me come here. That was the big factor, when I met her. She talked about how good the program is and convinced me to come here.”

Germano came to the United States after being looked at by an Oral Roberts recruiter, but ended up at Southeastern Illinois. Now, midway through her junior year, things are starting to click. Germano averages 2.6 points and rebounds per game.

“I’m in my second year so I’m understanding the plays and what they want now,” said Germano.

But just as things are starting to click for one Lady Blue, the learning process has just begun for another Brazilian. Lady Blue junior center Regiane Araujo, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, transferred to the Lady Blues this year after a one year stay at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, where she finished 11th place at the national tournament. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M was the previous home of Lady Blue student assistant coach and former point guard Jessica Aebi, before transferring to Washburn her junior year.

“I talked to [Sintra] a long time before coming here,” said Araujo. “This was a good school and a good program, so I signed.”

Araujo came to the United States in 2005 after being convinced to come by a friend who played for Southwest Baptist at the time. Araujo played for Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri her freshman year. Now Araujo is the fifth leading scorer for the Lady Blues averaging 5.4 points per game but explains learning the system is an ongoing difficult task.

“[Sintra and Germano] has helped me a little bit,” said Araujo. “It’s been hard for me. I’m still kind of behind when it comes to learning the system.”

But Germano explains Araujo is on the right track.

“She’s a good player,” said Germano. “She’s big and strong. She’s just trying to learn the system right now and that’s always hard since she is in her first year. But her learning is going fluid.”