Blog de Sportiw

The adidas Breaking Barriers Project x Sportiw: A Portrait of Justine Pina

As part of the collaboration between Sportiw and the adidas Breaking Barriers Project, we interviewed Justine Pina, one of the winners of the first edition of the contest. As part of an initiative to give a real boost to women in sports, Justine sat down with us to share about her inspiring career, her thoughts on women’s basketball, and her experience with the adidas Breaking Barriers Project.

Can you tell us about your beginnings in basketball?

I started basketball young because I had friends who also played. After participating in the youth detections in my region, I was spotted by Basket Landes, where I did most of my training. At the time, I didn’t have an agent to represent myself and I had to rely mainly on my personal network to find opportunities.

At the moment, I play mainly abroad, especially in Italy.

After starting your career in France, you went to play in Italy. What differences do you see in terms of play?

Each country has specific rules and the playing styles are not at all the same. For example, in the Netherlands, basketball is a game without defined positions; you must be able to play all positions, which is completely opposite from the way we play in France. In Italy, fouling involves fewer whistles for contacts, which makes it more physical than fouling in France. Compared to other countries, the game in France puts more emphasis on technique. In Spain, for example, the game is marked by an intensive race and a pronounced athletic dimension. It is true that being adaptable is essential, because each country has its own variation of basketball.

Justine Pina joueuse de basketball féminine témoigne pour adidas breaking barriers sportiw

How do you manage the balance between your academic/personal life and basketball?

For me, it wasn’t complicated because I was used to juggling classes and basketball at a young age. But perception can be different from one person to another. It requires adaptability, but it is a bit what we are already asked of by changing clubs regularly. It is a question of adapting quickly to situations, which is just a question of vision and ambition. For my part, I had no problem doing it. When I was young, I quickly joined a sports-study program, which allowed me to maintain a balance to prevent one thing from encroaching too much on the other. In addition, basketball finally allowed me to finance my studies. So, the two were complementary, and perhaps without one, I could not have achieved the other.

What is your opinion on the current state of women's basketball?

We feel more media coverage of women’s sport. In fact, brands are starting to sponsor woman athletes, which is encouraging. Nevertheless, financially, it is complex to get a correct salary to live only on your passion. It is very common to have a second job next door, which can create bigger fatigue over the season. From a general point of view, mentalities must continue to evolve in order to allow better prospects for players.

Have you ever felt the inequality between men and women in basketball?

Inequality is a recurring subject in many fields of activity. Currently, to say that I have never felt inequalities between women and men would be a lie, but staying fixed on it is not psychologically interesting either.

What advice would you give to young girls who aspire to play basketball?

We must always keep hope. Opportunities can arise, but it is essential to believe in your own abilities. Regardless of the entourage, no one can believe in us as much as ourselves. Certainly, some doors will close, but others will open. It is essential to persevere, adapt mentally, and maintain a belief in yourself. Surrounding yourself well is of great importance to maintain a high level.

👉 To participate in the second edition of the contest and win a meeting with an adidas athlete and a complete adidas equipment click here!

"Being well surrounded, having self-confidence, cultivating optimism and determination are crucial."

What is your opinion of adidas Breaking Barriers?

The adidas Breaking Barriers Project is a great start to help the development of women’s sports!

The adidas Breaking Barriers Academy to train coaches is an excellent tool. In other professional sectors, continuous training to develop is common. Although it also exists in the field of basketball, it is not as widespread. Even if training camps have been organized in recent years, adoption depends on the receptivity of the coaches. If the French Federation of Basketball gives its support, it will have an even greater impact.

Thank you to Justine for sharing her experience with us, and we wish her every success in the future!

Discover the portraits of the other winners of the first edition of adidas Breaking Barriers by clicking here.

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