Texas is Basketball For Her

The Texas Story Project.

Basketball, really good friends, and unforgettable memories are what she thinks of when someone mentions Texas. Her name is Jessica Barbosa and she was born in Portugal but she has spent half of her life in Guinea Bissau. When you ask her to describe herself she says, "Well, people around me can describe me better, but I like to think about myself as outgoing, crazy, funny, athletic, and competitive. That competitiveness is what drove me to sports." When she turned fourteen years old, the wind blew her to the United States because of her passion—basketball.

"I actually live in California, but I guess I just keep my stuff there. During more than half of the year I am in Texas studying and playing basketball." She started at University of Texas El Paso but one year later she moved to St. Mary's University in San Antonio.

"I am surrounded by the great Texas atmosphere, great people, great coaches, I could not ask for anything else. One time I got injured. You should have seen the athletic trainer. He was so worried like my mother. You can easily notice the difference in people's attitude when you are not a native Texan. They are always ready to help you, always smiling, always positive. They spread this positivity everywhere. I love it."

Surrounded by amazing people, Jessica's basketball career is at its peak. She has everything she loves in one city, San Antonio. The sunny weather, the amazing people, her favorite sport, and last but not least, a very good education.

"If anyone asks me to go somewhere else, the answer is. "No!" I feel San Antonio is my home now. And I like it. My heart belongs here." As a lot of people know, citizens in the southern cities have different behavior. That is the key to attracting more tourists. Family-oriented, always nice, and ready to help you, the people are the heart of Texas, the charm of San Antonio. When they are smiling at you, that's all you need to make you smile too. Spreading positivity is the main goal for Texans.

"As an international student, this attitude is really important for me. I need to feel like I am at home and this is really happening." That's why Jessica is so successful. Feeling good, she is able to practice effectively and strive for her goals.

"One day, when I become a basketball star, people around me will be an important part of this success. For now, I just enjoy watching the San Antonio Spurs. It makes me so happy and emotionally part of the winning spirit. You can feel people's support even during their games. It looks like the Spurs are San Antonio's kids and the audience its parents, truly supporting them no matter what."

Jessica has traveled a lot in Texas. But most of what she has seen is different basketball arenas. This is not something bad for her. Everything connected to basketball and San Antonio makes her happy. You should see her watching basketball games. Sometimes I feel she is more motivated and enthusiastic than the players. Basketball makes her so full of energy. It is amazing how much the small things do matter.

"I want to build a family here. I want my children to experience the Texas atmosphere and to make a lot of great friends as I did. San Antonio is a big city and can give you a lot of opportunities for development. It can give you the chance to be successful while doing what you love."

"Do I expect my children to become basketball players? No, but it would make me happy. But I can foresee a lot of arguments at home after games. "San Antonio is really an amazing place to live, play basketball, and develop yourself."

Advice that Jessica would give is, "Enjoy your life. Enjoy every single moment. San Antonio showed me how beautiful life is and we should not miss any second of it."

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