This archived article was written by: Shala Jo Pitchforth
What would cause a professional coach from another country to come to a small community college in Price, Utah. In his own words, Coach Adjalma Becheli expressed, “If you want to succeed in, you have to take risks. I left my family, friends, career; to come to America. If you want to achieve your dreams, you have to pay the price.” Coash Bechelli is respectfully known as Coach Vando to his basketball players and many people on campus.
For the past three years, USU-CEU has become the starting point toward achieving his goals and
ambitions. “When you think of the best place for soccer, you think Brazil. For basketball that place is the United States and the NBA.” After becoming extremely successful as a professional basketball coach for the Brazillian league, Vando decided that his next step was to come to America. Using his success and reputation, Vando hopes to return to Brazil with a good contract and steady career. Vando conveyed that his ultimate dream is to “represent [his] country in the Olympics” and hopes that his experience in America will steer him in that direction.
The women’s basketball program could not be luckier to have such an asset. There have been leaps and bounds in the running of the Lady Eagle’s offense under the direction of Vando. Some people understand basketball, some don’t; Coach Vando understands the game and knows how to teach it. His passion for the game is apparent in every conversation, practice and game. Before the Lady Eagles played Snow College in the SWAC tournament, Vando gave a powerful speech in his native tongue of Portuguese. Though most of the girls could not understand the words he said, they understood the passion that he has for the game and his players.
Coach Vando was not always the offensive coordinator for the women’s basketball team, as he spent two years with the men’s team, and was with them when they won third place in the National Junior College Athletic Tournament last year.
He explained that there are many differences between coaching men and women and this year has helped him improve his patience a lot. “Men are more athletic, women have more of a soft touch. Women are fundamentally better; men compensate with athleticism,” he explained.
This was not the first experience Coach Vando had with woman however, he coached two years with the women’s professional leagues in Brazil where during his first year, his team won the championship.
Not only has Vando been a coach, but he also spent time playing, which allowed him to develop a love for the game and understand it more fully. While a professional he was very busy. Not only did he play, but in the afternoons he coached a team in the 9-10 year-old age group. Of the experience he said, “It was fun, I loved it.” Vando spent eight years following this rigorous schedule.
Vando has enjoyed his time here and says that it is really nice to learn other cultures. His players are able to learn from him about Brazil and he is able to learn about the United States from them. Speaking of the biggest difference between Brazil and the U.S., he said, “The biggest difference between Brazil and America is the food.” Without Burger King, which is his favorite, he may not survive until he is able to make back to Brazil and to the wonderful food. He will be returning home this summer to visit and be back next year to again help coach the Lady Eagle’s basketball team.