At the 1983 EuroBasket in Nantes, France, I came across Arvydas Sabonis in a nearby mall. By then he was the young center of the USSR team. It was his second competition at a senior level because, with his enormous talent, he basically skipped the junior period in his career. After having played the cadet European championship in 1981 in Greece, where the USSR was crowned champion with 17 points per game by Sabas, he was already a great talent. One year later, while his generational peers – Sarunas Marciulionis, Valery Tikhonenko, Josechu Biriukov, Igors Miglinieks and others – played the junior European championship, Sabonis was in the World Championships in Colombia with the
In the second edition of the junior EuroBasket, played in Italy in 1966, a lot of future stars emerged: Dino Meneghin, Marino Zanatta and Giulio Iellini of Italy; Kresimir Cosic, Damir Solman, Ljubodrag Simonovic and Aljosa Zorga of Yugoslavia, who would be 1970 World champs; Zdenek Dousa of Czechoslovakia and Aleksandar Boloshev of Russia. However, the top scorer of the competition was from Bulgaria. His name was Atanas Golomeev, born in Sophia on July 5, 1947).His averaged 17.6 points, with 34 against France and 32 against Spain. Only two years later, at 19 years old, he made his debut in the senior EuroBasket in Naples and his numbers of 5.5 points didn’t hint at a future scoring
If someone, in a country with a long basketball tradition like Spain, is known as the best point guard of all time and the most laureate player he has a guaranteed spot among the legends. Those two definitions apply to Juan Antonio Corbalan (Madrid, August 3, 1954) since at least 1991, more than 20 years ago, when he retired wearing the jersey of Valladolid to put an end to a brilliant career. In his last active season, already at 36 years old, he played 15 games averaging 25 minutes with 6.5 points and 2.8 assists. The strange thing is that Corbalan got top lay again after a two-year pause. He was retired after 17 years on the courts (1971-1988) with the club of his life, Real Madrid, but
FIBA used to run a competition, the Intercontinental Cup, that existed between 1966 and 1982. South American champion Sirio de Sao Paulo, Brazil faced European Cup winner Bosna Sarajevo in the 1979 title game. Sirio won 100-96 in overtime at home in Sao Paulo, which led to a big on-court celebration, Brazilian style. Oscar Schmidt was 20 years old back then and finished the game with 42 points, shocking head coach Bogdan Tanjevic of Bosna with his extraordinary talent. Recently, almost 33 years later, Tanjevic told us a fact from that game.
“Never before or since in my entire life did I see a player who play a great game even though he couldn’t stop… crying!” Tanjevic
Under the name of Fernando Martin, who was born March 25, 1962 in Madrid and died December 3, 1989, there are not many numbers in the NBA data storage: 24 games with the Portland jersey for a total 146 minutes, 22 points and 28 rebounds. Taking a look only at the numbers it’s difficult to call the man behind them a “pioneer in the NBA”, but the case of Fernando Martin is justified when we look at the year we are talking about: the 1986-87 season.
He was only the second European player in the NBA, behind a Bulgarian player. Nowadays, only the veteran connoisseurs of European basketball and the NBA know that the honor of being the first belongs to Georgi Gluchkov, whose name
mong the many good things that Pedro Ferrandiz did for Real Madrid, one of the best was signing Clifford Luyk. It happened in the summer of 1962, when having American players was still something rare among European teams and far before it turned into something normal and later, even, almost mandatory. After losing the European final of 1962 against Dinamo Tbilisi of the USSR 90-83 in Geneva, Ferrandiz decided to leave the bench to Joaquin Hernandez, while he became what later would be known as the General Manager or Sports Director. To make the dream of the Real Madrid fans a reality and make the basketball section of the club European champ, something that the football players had already
Theo PapaloukasOn his ID you can see that he was born on May 8, 1977 in the New Psychiko neighborhood of Athens, however his basketball birthday was June 14, 1987. That day, Theo Papaloukas was, as all of Greece, stuck to the television screen watching the EuroBasket final played at Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus. Greece beat the USSR by 103-101 after overtime with 40 points by Nikos Galis. After that historic win, the streets of Athens turned into a huge party. A young Papaloukas, 10 years old, was among the hundreds of thousands of eurphoric fans, together with his younger brother Costas. The direct consequence of that was: “I am going to play basketball.”
The fact that
The case of Jon Robert Holden – born August 10, 1976 in Pittsburgh – is not the first nor the last to confirm a rule of life: it’s not how you start, but how you finish. What’s also true is that his pro career was unusual because of many things. His path to glory was neither fast nor easy. He had to go step by step, from third-level clubs to the elite; from countries with no basketball tradition to a world power in the sport, which he led to a new European crown after a long wait.
After four years in Bucknell University, where he averaged 17.8 and 18.1 points in his last two years, Holden was not drafted for the NBA, so his future looked like unlikely to involve basketball
While preparing this article, I asked my friend Yarone Arbel, also a columnist on Euroleague.net, for some data about Tal Brody. He sent me an e-mail with some figures and details about Brody, but what caught my attention was a sentence that read: “Here, in Israel, when talking about basketball, there is a before and after Tal Brody.” It’s impossible to say more in fewer words about this historical player, a great figure with so much meaning for Israeli basketball. There is no doubt that Maccabi Tel Aviv has showcased better players than Brody, but his merit was being the first great signing of the club and the key piece in an ambitious project of converting Maccabi into
Carlton MyersForum Valladolid was never one of the big clubs in Spain, it never won any titles, but it has the honor of having had on its roster three of the greatest players in European basketball: Arvydas Sabonis, Oscar Schmidt and Carlton Myers. The Lithuanian Tzar and the Brazilian Holy Hand were already talked about in this series about the great players of the past. Today I will talk about the Italian shooter with Jamaican origins from his father. Carlton Ettore Francesco Myers was born in London, where his parents worked, on March 30, 1971. When he was 10 years old, they moved to Rimini, a small Italian city on the Adriatic coast where, until he turned 17, nobody saw Carlton as a future