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The Family celebrates “a fantastic history of sport”

Rudy Fernández, captain of the national team, lifts the trophy won at Eurobasket 2022. / efe

Eurobasket 2022

The brand-new continental champion shares her unexpected title won at the Eurobasket at the WiZink Center in Madrid with thousands of fans

Amador Gomez

La Familia, as the Spanish basketball team is known, celebrated this Monday at the WiZink Center in Madrid with the fans “a fantastic history of sport.” This is how Sergio Scariolo described it, the day after leading Spain to the conquest of its fourth continental title in the last six editions of the Eurobasket. The national coach was the first to go out to greet the thousands of fans, the vast majority of them young people who look at themselves in the mirror of the new and unexpected champions, who gathered to enjoy a surprising gold medal with their idols in a competition that tested the generational change in Spain.

“We have done our job well, with a great competitive spirit”, congratulated the Italian coach, at the head of a team that without the players of the recent glorious era and with seven debutants has amazed the world in a championship in which Spain He started as the eighth favorite in the forecasts. “We started in 8th place and finished in 1st place. That happens with great rarity, but from time to time it happens”, proclaimed Scariolo, proud to lead players “capable of competing to levels that very few can reach” . “Others may have more stature or ability, but the ability to do things as a team and compete to where you couldn’t anymore is already part of our nature and way of being,” said the coach, who received one of the great ovations in the afternoon by some followers who wanted to party, although the celebration did not last more than an hour. Among the players, one of the most cheered was Willy Hernangómez, shouting «MVP, MVP!», After being the center from Madrid fairly recognized, thanks to his excellent performance and regularity, the best player in the Eurobasket.

After Scariolo and before the oldest of the Hernangómez, the captain spoke, Rudy Fernández, who appeared with the cup won in the Berlin final against France to place it along with the other three corresponding to the 2009, 2011 and 2015 Eurobaskets. All of them with the Balearic player in the national team and with Scariolo at the helm. Rudy had words of thanks, firstly, for all the assistants of the team, secondly for Scariolo, and lastly, for his teammates. «To each one of these guys who have made me believe that we could achieve it. They have made me enjoy myself as if I were a 20-year-old boy, ”said Rudy, who at 37 has already equaled the 11 medals won with the national team by Pau Gasol.

‘Looking for happiness’

«Once again we are all European champions! Do you remember Will Smith’s movie ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’? When the father tells his son: ‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you want something, go for it, period. It’s what they did,” Scariolo shouted to the fans. Rudy later managed to move the coach when he addressed the coach to say: “We have lived through everything, but what you have done with this team is something incredible, incredible.” Willy also had some special words of thanks for Scariolo. «For everything that has been squeezed out of me and the fights he has thrown at me. I know he does it for my good, “said the Madrid center.

The one who went through a few moments of trouble when taking the microphone was Lorenzo Brown, the point guard born in the United States –’Lorenzo de Albacete’, as Usman Garuba has baptized him–, who addressed the fans in English and could barely launch in Spanish “Hello”, “Long live Spain!” and thanks”. “Lorenzo, thank you for the sacrifice and commitment to this team,” Rudy Fernández told Brown, after the Spanish captain had also criticized the express nationalization of the game director before the championship, which has been fundamental to its success. Lorenzo Brown was chosen on Sunday among the members of the best quintet of Eurobasket 2022, along with Willy, “a hell of a guy”, as Rudy described him.

The veteran Majorcan forward of Real Madrid considers the Hernangómez his “brothers”. “If it wasn’t for them, this would have been very long. On a personal level, after what has happened to me – the death of his father last May, at the age of 66 – having them by my side has made me much more pleasant. They are the present and future of this team,” Rudy acknowledged, alluding to Willy Juancho before appearing at the WiZink, where he starred in one of the funniest moments when he yelled at Alberto Díaz: “Please… as you defend, Albert!”

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