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First Vietnamese woman to play in US basketball association

Updated: 10:48, 17/04/2024

Truong Thao Vy has been drafted by the Washington Mystics for the 2024 season and became the first-ever Vietnamese athlete to play in the U.S.'s Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Thao Vy, also known as Kaylynne Truong, was the 21st pick at the 2024 WNBA Draft on Tuesday. Her twin sister Truong Thao My (Kayleigh Truong) was not selected by any club.

Truong Thao Vy plays for Gonzaga Bulldogs in the NCAA.

Previously, Jaylin Williams was the first athlete of Vietnamese descent to join an American professional basketball club. The 22-year-old power forward was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA at the 34th pick.

Vy was selected thanks to her impressive performance at the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in the 2023-2024 season. After 36 games for Gonzaga Bulldogs, Vy contributed an average of 11.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Vy is 1.77 m tall and considered to have a similar playing style to superstar Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.

Vy and My were nicknamed "Truong Twins" when they helped Vietnam make history with a silver medal at SEA Games 31 and a gold medal at SEA Games 32, in the 3x3 basketball event. Both showed a different level when they were trained professionally in the U.S., the birthplace of basketball.

The twins were born in 2001 in the U.S. to Vietnamese parents. Both have been taught basketball by their father since they were five and have been properly trained since eighth grade. They can play well as a point guard or shooting guard, in which Vy is better in terms of skill. While playing at Jersey Village High School, Vy was selected by the American sports channel ESPN as one of the 28 best defenders in the U.S. at the high school level.

In 2019, the two went to Gonzaga University, which has the best basketball team in the NCAA, Gonzaga Bulldogs. They became mainstays in the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons. Vy has 629 assists, the second-best in the team's history, while Thao My is fourth with 484 assists.

After five seasons, Vy played 162 matches, with an average of 9.4 points, 3.9 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.09 steals per match. My played 131 matches, with aan average of 9.3 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per match.

WNBA is the most prestigious women’s club basketball tournament in the world, established in 1997 with four teams. Currently, the tournament has 12 teams all based in the U.S., with six teams each in the East and West. The Washington Mystics were founded in 1998 and have only won the title once in 2019. In the last four seasons, their best result was reaching the first round of the playoffs in 2020, 2022 and 2023.

The 2024 WNBA will take place from May 14 to Sept. 19. Each team plays 40 games in the regular season to determine rankings, from which they are divided into matchups to compete in the playoffs for the title.

Source: VnExpress

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