Few countries in the Arab World have done more to promote the sport of 3x3 Basketball than Jordan during 2017.
The sport was hardly known in the Kingdom prior to the International Olympic Committee announcing that it would be included onto the programme for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
It sparked a frantic period of activity with the Jordan Olympic Committee working closely with the basketball community to bring a structured edge to the sport which has boomed over the past few months.
And now, the Kingdom is home to the Arab World’s top ranked U23 female player who says that she and her teammates are focussed on clinching a spot on the biggest stage of all.
“I was so happy when I found out that 3x3 Basketball was approved for Tokyo 2020, my ultimate dream is to book a place for us there,” said Liliana Abu Jubarah, who is also the eighth ranked player in Asia.
But it hasn’t been an easy passage to the top for the 20-year-old.
Just two years ago she had to take time off from basketball after a serious injury.
“I got injured in my leg and spent five long months away from sport which made me more determined than ever to come back stronger,” said the engineering student.
“I knew that I would have to train harder than ever to regain my form and I believe it has made me come back a better player who will not waste an opportunity. “I have trained extremely hard to be the top Arab player.
I am so lucky with the coaches who have guided me.
They instruct me very well and I want to move forward and compete on the world stage with my teammates.”
Her road to Basketball stardom has come via spells playing Gymnastics, Swimming, Karate and then Taekwondo.
But it was the team spirit that drew her to the game. “It’s great to achieve your goal with the help of others.
I cannot do it by myself, so I felt excited from the very first time I played Basketball.”
Her late father has been her inspiration and she says she wants to win as “he still stands behind every single win” with her mother now taking on the position as her biggest fan.
The modest youngster praised the role of the Jordan Olympic Committee and the newly formed 3x3 Committee for their effort in promoting the sport which she describes as “the ultimate work”.
She has also heaped praise on national team “once in a lifetime” coach Sam Daghlas for developing her career and, from whom, she says she is learning all of the time.
With her performances in the Jordan vest continuing to impress, it is probably only a matter of time before she is picked up by a foreign club who, she hopes, can further develop her skills to become an even better player.
Then, her country hopes, she will be even better positioned to lead her country all the way to Tokyo.