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Santiago, Chile – Today, Saturday, is a special day for the former volleyball player’s family Hector “Picky” Soto.
In the afternoon, his daughter, youth Camila Soto debuted at the adult level in the Pan American Games with 11 points, products of seven attacks, two blocks and two direct serves, against Argentina in the preliminary round of the volleyball tournament in Santiago, Chile. Camila is barely 17 years old.
And at night in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to Picky Soto will be presented with the Mayoral Award of Excellence, awarded by the International Volleyball Hall of Famewhich is based in that town.
“We are as a family that we do not fit. It is a great joy”, shared Picky Soto via telephone with this medium. “I’m crazy that this is over so we can get together and remember all this.”
Camila, who joined the adult team this week due to an injury to another player, attacked 20-7 from the same opposite position that her father played and earned her the Best Scorer award in world competitions from what is now called Volleyball World. .
Camila came on as a substitute during the match to stay on the court with a performance of seven positive attacks, in addition to contributing defensively in the net and stabilizing the opposing pass with her serve.
Picky Soto said that he saw all of Camila’s performance from Massachusetts, through his cell phone, and that he was excited about the work of his daughter, who continued her legacy on the court. Coincidentally, it was against Argentina that Soto and the National Team made themselves known in the first game of the 2006 World Championship in Japan. Soto scored 38 points in that game.
“He had told her that if they made her play, it was to score the ball. And I didn’t see a shy player. I saw her enjoying, calm, aggressive”described the top scorer in the history of Superior Volleyball.
“I, who am emotional, was very happy for her. That she has that performance against adult players, on a packed court, even though the local team wasn’t playing, makes me very excited,” she added. “And that I did it on the day I was recognized makes it more special.”.
Soto will receive the Mayoral Award from the International Volleyball Hall of Fame. The award is not an exaltation to the Hall, which many believe should open its doors. Soto’s lack of participation in the Olympic Games is possibly one of the reasons why until now he has not been considered for exaltation to this venue of immortals, which for many is unfair.
The award could be a step towards the same, where he would be the first Puerto Rican.
“I understand so,” he said. “There is a movement of people who are advocating. “They have to nominate me and the Hall is in charge of evaluating.”
Camila, meanwhile, is in her fourth year of high school and this is her second participation with the adult team, after debuting in a tournament in the Dominican Republic last summer. Camila has just begun her journey in the adult team.
Certainly, Camila gave her father a gift on this special day with the performance she had on the court in Chile.
“Representing Puerto Rico is special for me and I will do it every time I have the opportunity. I was trying not to think about the special day my dad is going to have so as not to put pressure on myself. But I was thinking the same“said the student from Colegio Adianez de Guaynabo.
Camila was waiting for her father’s call after the game. She had to wait to get to the Pan American Village where she is staying to answer the call. Pride flowed between them, she said, in addition to comments about the game.
“I wanted to go with him to the reconnaissance, but it wasn’t possible. But I’m also very proud of him.“said the young woman.