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Janeth Arcain: 1969—: Professional Basketball Player

Broadened Her Skills

Arcain averaged twenty minutes per game in the 1998 season, scoring 6.5 points per game, and there were signs that she was beginning to develop a new all-around game. "If there was an award in this league for Sixth Man, it would have to be Janeth," Chancellor told the Chronicle. Over the next few seasons, Arcain developed a reputation as a quiet pillar of the Comets squad, as a player who often came off the bench at crucial moments or scored a game-winning point, yet was often upstaged by her flashier teammates. Through it all, Arcain rededicated herself to the mastery of new skills and to a spirit of teamwork. By the end of the 2000 season, in which she averaged 8.4 points per game, Arcain was appearing more and more often in the position of point guard.

Finally, in 2001, Arcain returned to the starting lineup, and all the pieces fell into place. "Until this year, I've just waited for my time," she told the Chronicle. "There were times when I wasn't so happy here. But I always told myself that this is my job, this is what I have chosen to do." Arcain gained her own coterie of fans in Houston, experienced the excitement of playing in the WNBA All-Star Game, and scored a career-high 29 points in a July game against the Utah Starzz. At the season's end she was named the league's Most Improved Player and was selected for the All-WNBA first team, picking up a $10,000 check for the honor.

She was the fourth-leading scorer in the league with 18.5 points per game and ranked seventh in steals; she was noted as a fine defensive player overall. Arcain planned to retire from basketball after playing one more time for Brazil in the 2004 Olympics. In the meantime, American basketball fans seemed likely to find greater and greater enjoyment in her efforts on the court.



Houston Chronicle, June 9, 1997, p. Sports-7; July 12, 1997, p. Sports-8; July 6, 1998, p. Sports-1; August 1, 1998, p. Sports-1; May 27, 2000, p. Sports-2; June 12, 2000, p. Sports-7; June 23, 2000, p. Sports-6; July 1, 2000, p. Sports-1; May 22, 2001, p. Sports-9; June 2, 2001, p. Sports-4; June 23, 2001, p. Sports-1; July 16, 2001, p. Sports-1; August 19, 2001, p. Sports-4; August 31, 2001, p. Sports-14.

USA Today, July 16, 2001, p. C3.

—James Manheim

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: (Hugo) Alvar (Henrik) Aalto (1898–1976) Biography to Miguel Angel Asturias (1899–1974) BiographyJaneth Arcain: 1969—: Professional Basketball Player Biography - Won Olympic Silver Medal, Benched As Comets Star Returned, Broadened Her Skills