Big Game, Small World
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N I N E T E E N : Brazil
PHOTO BY: JOHN MCDONOUGHIn the stereotype, Latin America is a redoubt of machismo. If women practiced sports in this part of the world, I thought, it was surely in spite of the opposition of men, or at least with male indifference.

And then there’s Brazil, where women’s basketball players bring home world championships, and the two finest enjoy the status of cult heroines. In Paula and Hortencia, the Magic and Larry of Brazilian women’s hoops, I learned about the prominent roles of celebrity, movement, and—somewhat surprisingly, I’ll confess—women in that exceptional country.

Here is Hortencia on the court, her ponytail trailing the play.

TWENTY: DES MOINES

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