Sports

Athlete of the Week: Captain Maia ’15 dominates glass, sets career high in win

Senior forward grabs career-best 16 rebounds, completes double-double with 12 points against JWU

By
Sports Staff Writer
Friday, December 5, 2014

Rafael Maia ’15 may have started his athletic career as a child on the tennis court, but his moves as a basketball player show that the hardwood is his more natural arena. A two-time captain, the forward is an offensive spark for Brown and has led the Ivy League in rebounds for two years running. Maia’s explosive talent spearheaded Bruno’s recent 75-65 victory over Johnson and Wales, despite the sapped energy of his teammates after a weeklong road trip. For his resilience, leadership and athletic prowess, Maia has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: How long have you been playing basketball?
Maia: I started playing 12 years ago when I was 11. I used to play tennis and then I had a small cyst, and my doctor told me I couldn’t play tennis. I started playing basketball, and I fell in love with the team and the game. I haven’t stopped playing since then.

What is your favorite part of the game?
I love being part of a team. I love the day-to-day practice and knowing we have a common goal.

What motivates you to play as hard as you do?
Winning. I know how hard we have to practice to be good enough to win games. We have to work hard to do that.

Why did you choose to play at Brown?
Brown was the perfect combination for me in terms of basketball and academics. It’s such a great school. … I just saw myself here. I fell in love with the team and knew I wanted to come.

How has your experience on the team prepared you to be captain?
We’ve been through a lot of difficult situations and in every situation I’ve learned … whether you win or lose, it’s always a learning experience. My first two years prepared me a lot. … I’ve always been a captain, even on the Brazil national team.

What are your predictions for the rest of the season?
I want to win the Ivy League Championship. We have a long way to go, and we have a lot of development before then. We have to take it one game at a time … and just really focus on the day-to-day practice, which is when we get better. Every time we go onto the court, we expect to win because we hold ourselves to a high standard.

Ratty or VDub?
VDub. … I’m friends with everyone who works there.

Do you have any plans for after Brown?
I’m not 100 percent sure yet. … I probably will go to grad school.