KUSA - Regis Jesuit junior Francesca Belibi has no intention of slowing down.
Just months after making national headlines for becoming the first female to dunk in a high school game in Colorado history, Belibi is making quite a name for herself in the sport.
Earlier this month, she won a gold medal with the U-16 national team at the FIBA Americas Championships held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For a girl who only started playing organized basketball her freshman year of high school, it's safe to say Belibi is a star in the making.
"It was a really great opportunity," she said. "These girls were some of the top 10, 12 in our country [and] in our grade levels."
Belibi was one of 35 players nationally to be invited to the U-16 camp. The other hopefuls who applied for the camp made up a total of 139 participants. The girls went through a series of tryouts where they saw cuts every couple of sessions. The remaining 18 were invited to a training camp, and the final 12 were chosen from there. Francesca made the cut.
"At the end of the day, we were representing our entire country, not just our teams back home, or our family members," Belibi said. "You're representing the whole country and that's a really great opportunity for us."
Francesca is still getting used to all of the attention that came with her historic dunk. Even at the U-16 national camp, girls couldn't stop talking about it.
"We were joking around and one girl was like, 'I want to be like that one 15-year-old who dunked,'" she said with a laugh. "I was like, 'Oh yeah, that was me.'"
"[The attention] took some getting used to, and it was really a humbling process because I know it's not just me," she went on to say. "My parents are behind it, and I had different trainers, and of course, God, too. It really helped put things in perspective of my life, and it really helped propel me into a role that is a leader to others, because now other kids look up to me."
And, as Fran pointed out, others are starting to be introduced to the fact that boys aren't the only ones who can dunk.
Watch the video to see the full interview with Regis Jesuit junior, Francesca Belibi.
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