The NCAA Tournament in 2024 has seen a remarkable showcase of talent, diversity, and cultural richness, thanks in large part to the incredible performances of Latino players across both men’s and women’s basketball.

These athletes have not only contributed significant statistical performances but their unique backgrounds and stories to the forefront, enhancing the fabric of the tournament.

Kamilla Cardoso: South Carolina’s Brazilian Phenom

Kamilla Cardoso, a towering presence at 6-foot-7, hails from Montes Claros, Brazil, and has been a formidable force for South Carolina. As the team’s leading scorer, averaging 13.9 points per game, and top rebounder with 9.5 rebounds per game, Cardoso has been a cornerstone of South Carolina’s success. Her defensive prowess is equally impressive, leading the team with 2.6 blocks per game.

Before joining the collegiate ranks, Cardoso showcased her talents at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Tennessee, which laid the groundwork for her collegiate success. Additionally, her international experience with the Brazilian national team, highlighted by a bronze medal performance at the FIBA AmeriCup, has been instrumental in her development as a top-tier player.

Santiago Véscovi and Zakai Zeigler: Tennessee’s Dynamic Duo

Santiago Véscovi and Zakai Zeigler have been pivotal in Tennessee’s journey to the Sweet 16. Véscovi, originating from Montevideo, Uruguay, stands at 6-foot-3 and has contributed significantly as a scorer with 6.5 points per game and as a distributor with 2.5 assists per game.

His sharpshooting from beyond the arc, hitting 35.6 percent from 4-point range, and his proficiency from the free-throw line at 68.2 percent have been crucial for Tennessee. Véscovi’s international experience with the Uruguayan national team at the Pan-American Games and Olympic qualifiers has honed his competitive edge.

Zakai Zeigler, with Puerto Rican ancestry and hailing from Long Island, New York, has faced personal adversity head-on. Following a fire that damaged his family’s home, the basketball community rallied to support him through a GoFundMe, raising over $350,000 in less than 24 hours.

On the court, Zeigler’s performance has been stellar, ranking third in scoring at 11.7 points per game, leading in assists with six per game, and steals with 1.8 per game, showcasing his all-around skill set.

Francisco Farabello: Creighton’s Argentine Guard

Francisco Farabello, a 6-foot-3 guard from Argentina, has carved out a role off the bench for Creighton, appearing in 34 games this season. Averaging 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists, Farabello’s contributions have been vital in providing depth and stability to Creighton’s backcourt. His international experience and upbringing in Argentina have imbued him with a unique basketball IQ and vision that benefit his team in crucial moments.

Ian Martinez: A Crucial Addition to Utah

With Maryland transfer Ian Martinez, Utah State added a smart, high-energy defender with offensive upside. The 6-foot-3 181-pound guard from Costa Rica established himself as an important rotational player through the 2022-23 season with Maryland, overcoming a difficult first season. He emerged as a spark plug sixth man logging nearly 18 minutes per game over 35 appearances.

This year, he averaged 13.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 34 games (29 starts) and helped Utah State reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Chad Baker-Mazara: Auburn’s Versatile Guard

Chad Baker-Mazara, hailing from the Dominican Republic, has played a pivotal role for Auburn this season. In 35 games, with nine starts, he averaged 10 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. His versatility and ability to contribute across multiple facets of the game have made him an invaluable asset to Auburn’s lineup, providing them with scoring depth and defensive resilience.

Gabriela Jaquez: A Rising Star From California

Gabriela Jaquez, of Mexican descent and sister to Miami Heat forward Jaime Jaquez, has made a name for herself as a 6-foot forward, contributing significantly to her team’s efforts. In 33 games this season, she averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Her performance on the court reflects a blend of skill, determination, and the rich basketball lineage of her family.

Aalyah Del Rosario: LSU’s Dominant Center

Aalyah Del Rosario, a 6-foot-6 center for LSU with Dominican Republic descent, has showcased her abilities in 35 games this season. Averaging 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, Del Rosario has been a key figure in the paint for LSU, providing them with size, scoring, and rebounding that have been essential to their game plan.


Latinos are not the only people being represented in the Men and Women’s NCAA Tournaments. Over the years, the tournaments have transcended its origins as a competition for US colleges and now it is a global event, showcasing talent from across the globe.

The 2024 NCAA Tournaments are no exception, as they feature a remarkable array of players from various countries, highlighting the universal appeal and diversity of NCAA Basketball. Canada has a strong presence with 42 players, you can bet Ontario sportsbooks will be buzzing with action during the tournament with so many Canadians showcasing their skills. While other countries like Australia, France, and Nigeria also contribute to the international flair of the events.

The inclusion of players from such a wide range of countries not only enriches the competition but also brings different styles of play and basketball philosophies to the forefront. This global representation underscores the significance of these tournaments, not just as a pinnacle of NCAA Basketball, but as a showcase of the world’s emerging basketball talent, demonstrating the sport’s growing international footprint.