The talented Colombian basketball player Yenny Pinilla was born in Belén, Boyacá on October 26, 1973, with only five years she had her first approach to basketball, as she claims to have had a great attraction for sports since she was a child and this was one of her favorites . At the age of six she invited her friends from school to play early before going to study and despite not having a court with good conditions, for her this was the perfect space and time to have fun and connect with the orange ball. At first everything was very empirical, she loved inventing pirouettes, throwing with her left hand and running very fast so that no one would catch up with her. After this her physical education teacher spent some time seeing her potential and he was really motivated to train her and conform with her the School Basketball team, where from there she competed in tournaments in Boyacá and managed to be champion several times. “I liked the connection that there was with the ball, at that time we called it "superball" by the superk brand. I liked to invent pirouettes, but only with my left hand and throw the ball as much as I could to get to the basket because we used men's ball and always ran in a hurry so that they would not reach me. I really enjoyed it. Some time later a physical education teacher saw us, he used to spend every day on public transport to Duitama to teach and was delighted to see some little girls running and playing without any guidance and instruction. This is how we built the basketball school team and managed to be champions in many tournaments in Boyacá, until in 1989 I moved to Tunja, there we lost the undefeated.”

At the age of twelve she was already part of the Boyacá Basketball team, where she had the opportunity to compete in several national tournaments in the children's and junior categories. She was always a very applied and committed girl, that is why she managed to enter the Leonor Alvarez Pinzon Normal School with a scholarship to finish her 11th grade, having there as a challenge to be champions in the Basketball team at the intercollegiate level and thus give the victory to her city in his 450th anniversary, a challenge which she happily tells us was fulfilled “…It was only grade 11 that I studied in Tunja, with a scholarship from a “Normal para senoritas LAP” school because the rector wanted to be champion that year since Tunja was turning 450 years old and as a gift she wanted to be a champion in basketball at the intercollegiate level in Boyacá. Her wish was fulfilled and the final was against my former school. Good Story by the way! "

At the age of 16 she arrived in Bogotá and began to study at the Santo Tomás University with a half scholarship in the Accounting career, her passion for basketball increased and it is at this moment that she manages to access the Bogotá league where she competed professionally multiple times. At the same time, she had the opportunity to enter the Colombian Basketball National team and compete with them in the South American, Central American, Pan American, Bolivarian and the Copa de las Américas tournaments. However, despite being in the fifth semester of that career, she decided that she was going to professionalize in another field that would draw her attention a little more and that is when she finally entered the Central University again with a scholarship and managed to complete her advertising career there. At that time, this talented player had more than 10 years of competition in national tournaments with Boyacá and Bogotá from the junior to senior category. "... I finished advertising (at that time it was a technological career), later I professionalized at the same university obtaining the title of Publicist. I exercised it by teaching at two universities for 2 years, but being on a basketball court as a player and coach was more effective for me ”.

However, not everything in the garden was rosy for her, in the South American held in Chile she came to question her conditions as a player, because she was not among the headlines of the national team selection and had to be on the bench for a long time. That was not gratifying, but despite not having had the best experience, she promised herself that it would not happen again and that is why she trained even harder to continue standing out, being so fortunate to be one of the the best players in the country and that is why this was her biggest challenge, in each game she aimed to annul who she was supposed to defend and also personally it was important to always get the first places. It was thus with this tenacity that she managed to represent our country in multiple more competitions and became the best general scorer and the best three-point scorer in her time. “I later took this anecdote as positive, but at the time it was negative because it put my conditions as a player in doubt. In a South American tournament in Chile, I was not among the stellar players of the coach who commanded the national team, at that time and after coming from being the first option in the junior category, she displaced me in that youth tournament to be one of the last options. I was on the bench for a long time, it hurt a lot to be there because I enjoy playing and the bench for me was not my position. I suffered a lot, I cried, I doubted, but at the end of the tournament I said I am going to train harder because this will not happen to me again."

In her life as an athlete, she had both good and "bad" experiences, which helped her at every moment to get the best of herself and even to get opportunities never thought of, such as being part of the Valle team directed by Guillermo Moreno, which she shares that “always wanted to play for Guillermo Moreno and with 15 days left for a national youth-senior tournament, I was training with Bogotá. One day I was 5 minutes late for training because the bus had punctured (true), I ran almost half a mile to get to the auxiliary field of Salitre, I approached the coach and told him why I was late and his answer was: your reasons don’t matter, you are out of the team. That same day I called Guillermo and asked him if he needed a point-guard, since my coach removed me from the team, that’s how I went to Cali and formed the Valle team and played for 3 years for them.”

It was in 2007 when the talented Yenny Pinilla retired as a high-performance athlete after the Pan-American Championship in Rio de Janeiro, she did so not because her physical condition was not adequate to continue playing, but because, as she herself indicates at 35 years of age. it was the right time to give space to another player in her position. Nevertheless, basketball was and will always be marked in her life, because after this decision she formally decided to become a coach of this sport to share her skills and passion with children and young people. Currently she has been training players for more than 20 years in her owned Pumas de Bogotá basketball club, she was also a coach of the Bogotá basketball league, the Universidad de los Andes basketball team and was part of the coaching staff of the Colombia National basketball women's team and is currently the coach of the Universidad del Rosario basketball women's team. “I really stopped as a high-performance athlete in 2007 after the Pan-American Championship in Rio de Janeiro and I did it because I was 35 years old and I thought it was time to give space to another player in my position, but I continue to play in the master category, it's something that I won’t stop doing. I love playing. But I have continued to be involved with sports, it is a marriage for life."

Although being a coach in Colombia is not easy and much less for a woman coach in a man's world, Pinilla has shown as always that her skills and conviction can more than the conditions that the environment "offers" you, that is why against any obstacle, her greatest achievement has been to maintain and strengthen her Club during all these years without betraying her teaching philosophy, building trust year after year and creating a community that follows her purpose, that is undoubtedly the most important thing for her. Currently, as she herself says, her life continues to roll like the ball, passing lessons, scoring experience points and teaching by example what this sport has taught her. “I am quite grateful to basketball because I have enjoyed it first as a player, then from my position as a mother, going through the sports and academic life of my daughter María Camila Tapias Pinilla, and then as a coach because you sow and then you see the result of everything you have given and give to each of those people that I had and have the pleasure of teaching and training, and that strong bonds of friendship are built for life."

In conclusion, Yenny Pinilla is an ex-player, coach and exceptional person, she is the living proof that love, effort and dedication for the things that you really want give results, is the clear example that in life you will have thousands of barriers that prevent you from fulfilling your purpose, but it is you who shows that you are made to be able to overcome yourself and get what you want or even a little more. “I was born to be running after a basketball. I am 46 years old and I have built my life project through this sport. Things do not come to life by magic. The excuses were made for the weak and if we want to be outstanding athletes and represent our College, Department or Country, we must pay the price and train more than others. Understand that success is not just around the corner and that to achieve it you need hours and hours of training, discipline and perseverance. "

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