Like every year, Embutidos Pajariel Bembibre goes to the market of the University League of the United States (NCAA) to give its staff a leap in quality. This is the profile fulfilled by Erin Whalen, a 185-centimetre-tall American power forward who joins the eleventh project in the Endesa Women’s League in her first experience in Europe. She currently plays for the Mainland Pouakai, in New Zealand, where she has played six games averaging 15 points and almost 6 rebounds per game. The three previous seasons she was with the Flyers of the University of Dayton, where she also spent an old acquaintance of the Bercian fan such as Saicha Grant-Allen.

Born 24 years ago in Orange County, California, Whalen grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her first two years of university career she played at Vanderbilt, although she did not coincide with the player from Perfumerías Avenida Mariella Fasoula. After a year inactive as a redshirt, she signed in Dayton, where she received several awards and became one of the most important players on the team that led the Atlantic 10 Division in 2022. Not surprisingly, she averaged more than 13 points and almost 5 rebounds in the 31 games he played during the last season. She added percentages close to 40% in field goals and over 80% from 4.60.

After finishing her university stage, despite not being selected in the last WNBA Draft, her outstanding performances and important statistical figures in recent years were enough reason to be part of the training camp and play a preseason game with the Indiana Fever. Finally, she was not selected to play the main women’s basketball competition in the United States with the franchise in which she plays, among others, the former player of Recoletas Zamora Victoria Vivians. Others like Kelsey Mitchell, Emma Cannon, Danielle Robinson or Bria Hartley are also quite well known in basketball on the old continent.

“He is versatile, he can play in the 3 and 4 positions”

The coach of Embutidos Pajariel Bembibre, Pepe Vázquez is “satisfied and happy” with this signing, regarding which he considers that “it is a case similar to that of Jazz Bond. She has had a good university career, doing very well for her team, which has earned her the opportunity to participate in the Indiana Fever training camp”, explains the Galician coach, who describes her as “a specialist in shooting from the 6 line .75. She is capable of throwing the ball to the ground if they defend her or point her”, clarifies the coach of the Bembibrense team, who believes that “it is difficult for rival centers to defend. She is versatile, she can play in the 3 and 4 positions and offers the possibility of playing low post”, he underlines.

For her part, the American interior defines herself as “a very versatile player who can generate both on the perimeter and in the paint. I am aggressive in both areas of the court and I am very competitive”, emphasizes Whalen, who also considers herself “a team player. I take advantage of the work of my teammates and I love helping in many facets so that they feel more comfortable”, argues the American rookie, whose main objective is “to participate as much as possible and be an effective player that my team can count on” .

“It will be very important how he acclimatizes and how he adapts”

This is known to Pepe Vázquez, who assures that the player has given him “desire and enthusiasm for having this opportunity in professional basketball. This is a good first stone to be able to build”, adds the trainer from Santiago de Compostela, who recalls that she “will live a new professional experience away from home after being in New Zealand for the last few months. It will be very important how she acclimatizes and how she adapts to a competition as demanding as the Endesa Women’s League”, points out the manager of the Bierzo Alto team, announcing that she “comes to play an important role. She will give us a lot of outside shot and versatility in the 4”, he signs.

In this sense, Whalen feels “excited to join a team that – she thinks – has potential. My goal is to improve as a player, achieving the greatest possible offensive impact,” explains the Charlotte-raised power forward, aware that “the coaching staff expects great things from this team and is focused on every detail so that we offer our best performance and we can achieve our goal. I really want to meet my new colleagues and get down to work”, emphasizes the North American, who acknowledges that “I don’t know much about Bembibre. I want to get involved in Spanish society as much as I can and learn more about the rich culture and history of it”, she concludes.