July 22, 2024

Montiero enjoys success in new setting


This archived article was written by: Nico Schapochnik

The Utah State Eastern men’s basketball team been having a good season, and one of the biggest reasons for the success of the team is the work that the sophomore Brazilian Rafael Monteiro does. Monteiro is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and grew up playing in the highest level club teams in the city, winning back-to-back state championships for the club team Pinheiros Club. In 2015 he was named U-17 state player of the year plus making an appearance for the Brazilian National U-17 and U-18 teams. After a freshman season in Wisconsin-Superior, he decided to transfer to the Eastern because the level of the competition was not as high as he expected there. Monteiro said, “The teams there wasn’t that good, all the guys were short and I felt like I could be playing in a program that was a bigger challenge.” For Wisconsin-Superior he started all 25 games as a freshman and earned an All-UMAC honorable mention. He averaged 15.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game and shot 46.2 percent from the floor in his only season at the NCAA Division III level. This season for the Eastern Monteiro is averaging 12.9 points 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He is shooting 60 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three-point territory for the Eagles. The Brazilian is the second leading scorer on the team and principal rebounder. He started on 18 of the 23 games played so far. “The league here is 100 percent better, the players are really athletic and skilled, the game is organized and disciplined, overall it’s one of the best conferences in the nation. We get to play nationally ranked teams all the time.” After finishing his third school semester in America, Monteiro enjoys the environment and the Utah experience. “ I love the environment here, people from the school and the city are really helpful and supportive. The school is made up with mainly athletes, so I think is really fun the interaction between all sports, I get to hang out with not only my team, but soccer, baseball and other sports players.” Monteiro has proven to be a great basketball player and for the future. He said, “I want to get my bachelor degree here in America, playing basketball in the highest level I can. After that, I will try to reach my dream to become a professional basketball player, somewhere around the world.”