Castro excelling in starting role

Sol+Castro+has+had+a+solid+start+to+her+freshman+season.+Photo+Credit%3A+Nick+Hedderick

Sol Castro has had a solid start to her freshman season. Photo Credit: Nick Hedderick

By Nathan Breisinger, Sports Multimedia Editor

Over 4,500 miles away from her hometown; Rio Colorado, Argentina native Sol Castro has made a new home at Robert Morris playing for the women’s basketball team.

In just 12 games, the freshman has lived up to her namesake, as Sol translates to the sun in English. Although the Colonials currently sit with a 3-9 record, Castro has shined during the darkest of times this season as she leads the team with an average of 9.5 points-per-game.

The team’s play has revolved around her as she recorded a double-double in three out of the past four games, including a season-high 23 points against Wright State.

While Castro has continually been the brightest spot on the court for the Colonials, she distributes a lot of the credit to the team’s overall performance, including her back-to-back 20 point efforts against Wright State.

“[20 points] is an important number, but I think that we needed to work together to get the win, so it wasn’t really important to get the 20 points,” Castro said.

As a result of her performance, Castro earned the Horizon League Freshman of the Week honors.

“I appreciate the honor, but as I said the team deserves this mention, not only me,” Castro said.

Sharing the same mentality of not getting arrogant when receiving an honor like this, head coach Charlie Buscaglia says that this award should be looked at as the work that went into it and not the award itself.

“You got an award, and she should feel good about the fact that she worked hard. Just know what the award meant… what it meant was that you did a good job for your team and you worked really hard,” Buscaglia said.

Before making the long trek to play for Robert Morris, Castro grew up in the town of Rio Colorado, which houses nearly 14,000 people.

During her childhood, Castro’s parents influenced her to participate in activities and they have been key supporters throughout her sports journey.

“When I was a child, my parents always told me to do something like a sport. They wanted me to be active and not only go to school,” Castro said. “They were always there for me, supporting me, so they are an important part for me in my life.”

With motivation from her parents, Castro finally picked up the game of basketball, which she quickly fell in love with.

“I started playing basketball at seven or eight years old, but we didn’t have competition at that time because we only had one club there.”

After playing for several different organizations, Castro eventually landed at Club Atletico Lanus, where she called home before Robert Morris. Castro added a championship to her resume while playing with Lanus.

“Lanus was one of the most important clubs that I played with because there I worked really hard and improved a lot,” Castro said. “It was a long process to get a championship, but we got it, and it was amazing.”

Before making the step to the collegiate level, Castro represented her home country while playing in three different international competition levels at the U18, U19, and senior levels.

Playing for her home country and having the nation unite behind her teams will always be something Castro will cherish.

“It’s an amazing feeling that you are representing your own country,” Castro said. “The Argentinian people are really passionate [about] every sport.”

In 2018, Castro and the Argentinian team won bronze at the U18 Americas Championships, where she averaged 7.0 points and 9.2 rebounds-per-game.

“It was amazing and something, for Argentinians, [that was] really hard to achieve,” Castro said.

While Castro is the first player to join the women’s basketball program from Argentina, Coach Buscaglia’s team is known for its international pipeline.

“We have contacts all over the world. When we recruit internationally we make sure they know right away that they are coming to be a student-athlete,” Buscaglia said. “That was the biggest thing with Sol, she really cares about being a student-athlete and being here.”

With the team finishing up its recruiting cycle and adding Castro to its program, the Colonials were also making several adjustments for the 2020-21 season. Robert Morris began to play in the Horizon League, along with a new look in their frontcourt.

The departure of Nneka Ezeigbo due to graduation and the transfer of 6’2” center Irekpitan Ozzy-Momodu to Central Michigan left a void that has been left up to Castro to fill.

“We saw that she had the potential to play at a level where it was very competitive with a lot of meaningful games,” Buscaglia said. “We knew there was a high possibility for her to come here and have a significant role on this team.”

Buscaglia noted that it was not a given for her to play right away, but rather that she had to earn it. He has seen an unbelievable work ethic from Castro that has led to her starting position.

“There [are] people that show up for work every day and they don’t want to be there and they give you 50-percent. Some people are all-in, and the work ethic with her is an all-in work ethic,” Buscaglia said. “She just wants to put in the extra work and go the extra mile.”

With a future unknown ahead of her at Robert Morris, Castro believes that through her work ethic and her teammates, they can become the best team possible.

“I would like to be the best version of myself and the best version of the team on and outside of the court,” Castro said.

The possibilities are endless with a player with the high standards and skill level like Castro displays as she now calls Robert Morris home.