ACB: Bienvenu Letuni dies, the 2.24 player who did not become a professional: “He had a kiosk in Kinsasa” | CBA 2021


The Congolese died this Sunday in his country at the age of 28 due to tuberculosis. He did not get to debut in ACB despite his size

Letuni, in training with Joventut.BRAND

“A few months ago he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was undergoing treatment. In the last few days he was very weak, he had lost a lot of weight. His death is really sad because he had just started several projects and was very excited. At the end of 2019 he set up a tobacconist’s in Kinsasa, the city where he lived, and bought land to plant vegetables. The coronavirus hit him at the beginning of those businesses, but he was beginning to see the light. It’s really sad.”

Talk to THE WORLD Anicet Lavodramaformer player of Ferrol, Joventut or Valladolid, of one of the young people he sponsored, Welcome Letuni, and of his death this Sunday in Kinsasa, the capital of the Congo, at the age of 28. Letuni was not a professional, in fact he did not even make his debut in the ACB, but the memory of him remains in Spanish basketball due to his extraordinary size. When he signed for Joventut in 2009, at the age of 15, he was 2.24 meters tall and was capable of crushing the hoop without lifting his heels off the ground.

“I came from a rural area [de una ciudad llamada Bandundu]without many resources. In 2009 I was already working at YouFirst [una agencia de representacin] in recruiting talent and we had set up a training program for players and coaches in Kinsasa. Bienvenu came and, obviously, with his size, we wondered if he could have a professional career. We talked to Joventut and they agreed to test him. He then he was there almost four seasons.”

The return to Kinshasa

But he did not jump to the first team. With acromegaly, the same disease that Roberto Dueas suffered from, he soon began to suffer physical problems, such as a dangerous obstruction of the optic nerve, and had to be operated on. In the lower categories of Penya he had some outstanding moments and shared a team with today’s referents such as Guillem VivesBut after the operations, Letuni’s body couldn’t keep up with the pace that elite sport demands. Shortly after his 18th birthday, his career ended. And he returned to his country.

“The Joventut behaved very well with him, especially three people, Jordi Mart, Santi Chico y paco round. For Bienvenu it was a hard blow, especially emotionally, to have to leave the sport, but they helped him a lot in the transition. That’s why he came to set up those businesses and was finding his way in Kinsasa. It is the example of how difficult it is to have a career in professional basketball, even if you are 2.24 meters tall. It is very sad that he is no longer with us.”

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

Know more


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *