UNM’s Andrea Howard chasing Olympic dream with Italy

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— UNM softball player Andrea Howard will soon be competing for a spot at the Olympic Games this year in Tokyo, Japan.

"Everything is starting to sink in and it’s becoming more of a reality right now," Howard said.

Howard has won six titles at La Cueva High School, and led the Mountain West in home runs. Now she has a chance to chase her dreams at the Olympics.

As a dual citizen, Howard has played with the Italian national team for years. Her plan is to practice and play with the team again for a few weeks.

“When I get to Rome the first thing that we have to do is all our medical clearance, so we’ll talk to all the doctors and we’ll get physically cleared, and then I’ll meet with the team on the 20th," she said.

Back in 2019, Howard played with Italy when they qualified for the 2020 games before they were postponed by the pandemic.

“I feel like I match really well with those girls. They’re so easy to talk to and they’re just so welcoming. They’ve been a dream come true for teammates, so I’m really grateful to be a part of that team,” Howard said.

Christina, Howard’s mother, grew up in Italy. Over the years, Howard said they would go back to visit family often.

“The food is amazing, the views are amazing, their culture it’s just so social there. They make you feel really welcome over there, so if you ever get a chance to go to Italy, I would definitely recommend it,” said Howard.

Howard will fly out to Rome on Sunday. Her mother plans to join her in Italy throughout training camp.