Hortência Maria de Fátima Marcari (born September 23, 1959 in Potirendaba, São Paulo, Brazil) is a Hall of Fame basketball player who is often considered to be Brazil's greatest women's basketball player, along with Jenny Arcain. She is known in her country as Hortência, and her nickname is The Queen.
Marcari is of Italian background, her grandparents having moved to Brazil from that European nation. Marcari's father was a laborer.
When Marcari was ten years old, her family moved to São Paulo, and Hortência became interested in sports. Her family disapproved of her choice to play sports - her father had been disabled on the field and they wanted her to work and earn some money to substitute part of the earnings her father used to get - but they eventually gave up on trying to prevent her from doing her favorite activity.
At the age of thirteen, in 1972, Marcari began to play streetball at her school. One year later, she was spotted by Waldir Paga Perez, Brazil's national women's basketball team's coach. Marcari was playing for the national team at age fifteen.
Marcari began to play as a professional with the São Caetano Esporte Clube, becoming a celebrity all over Brazil instantly. Over the years, she played for Associação Prudentina, C.A. Minercal, C.A Consteca/Sedox, NCNB Ponte Preta and ADC Seara, until she retired from professional basketball in 1996, one year before Arcain began playing in the United States' WNBA.
Marcari was an idol to many female basketball fans in the cities she played at, particularly at Prudentina, where, during an interview with Jeremy Larner, she was stopped many times by autograph-seekers on her way to a game.
International CareerMarcari's first international experience came in 1976, when Brazil's women's national basketball team won the South American youth championship in Paraguay. In 1979, she helped her team to a fourth place at the Pan American Games, held in Puerto Rico. In 1983, Marcari and the national team improved their previous Pan American performance by winning a bronze medal at the Venezuela games, and, in 1987, Hortência and the Brazilian Women's national team went yet one more step further by winning a silver medal at the 1987 Pan Americans. Olympic Games for the first time. Brazil arrived in seventh place at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
In 1994, Hortência won the women's world basketball championship in Australia, making Brazil only country other than the Soviet Union or the United States to win the title (Australia became the fourth in 2006). In 1996, she retired from international competition with a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Apart from those competitions, she also played in Peru, Singapore, Malaysia, Bulgaria and South Korea.
Despite the fact her team did not qualify for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, California, Marcari was featured on those games' official program, in an article entitled, "The Queen".
In 2005 Hortencia Marcari was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player. She is also a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (enshrined in 2002), and the FIBA Hall of Fame (enshrined in 2007).