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An Interview with Puerto Rican Olympian
India Pagán

by Amaya McDonald 


India Pagán was raised in New London, Connecticut by her two Puerto Rican parents. Pagán developed a passion for basketball at a young age and went on to play the game all over the world. A graduate student at Stony Brook University and a member of the school's women's basketball team, Pagán was part of the school’s America East women’s basketball championship team in 2020. She also helped the Puerto Rican basketball team earn a silver medal in the 2021 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup finals. In her latest feat, Pagán joined the Puerto Rican Women's Basketball Olympic team in Tokyo, Japan. The

olympian spoke with us at Fiesta4Hope to talk about her Puerto Rican roots and her love for basketball.  THIS CAN BE REWRITTEN/EDITED I WROTE IT IN 5 MINUTES SORRY LOL



Fiesta4Hope: Tell us about your Puerto Rican heritage and what it means to you.


Pagán: "My Puerto Rican heritage means the world to me. I am super proud to be Puerto Rican. I make it known that I am Puerto Rican, I have the flag everywhere, in my car, on my keychain, I have it up in my room, I have a tattoo of the island, everything."


What does it mean to be able to represent PR in the Olympics this year?


"It meant the world to me and my team to be able to represent PR, let alone in the Olympics for the first time in history. We will forever be written in the history books as the first team to play in the Olympics and we will tell the stories of the beautiful experience for the rest of our lives."


When did you realize you had a passion for basketball? Have you been able to align your love for the sport with other passions/interests? 


"My dad and mom signed me up for basketball when I was 10 years old. Apparently, I didn't like it and cried at the first practice. But my dad said 2-3 practices in, I said I loved it and never wanted to stop."


Do you plan to continue playing basketball professionally after the Olympics? 


"Yes, I plan to go overseas if i don't enter the WNBA." 


What have you learned from playing with teams from Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries in years past?


"We might be small countries, but we have a big heart and it shows in whatever sport we are playing. We give it our all."  

How does it feel to be able to participate in the Olympic Games after its cancellation in 2020?


"I was scared it was going to get canceled again but thankfully it didn’t and I got to live out a dream I never imagined could have happened." 


How do you hope to inspire others through your career? What kind of legacy do you hope to create? 


"Latinos are powerful. We are in every corner of the world, and we make ourselves known!" 

What advice would you give to young athletes with hopes to be in your shoes one day?


"Stay humble and always be genuine, good people. Just that will take you far and open many doors for you. Always believe anything is possible and never give up on yourself."

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