13 September 2022
No wonder, Spain has been the breeding ground for basketball talent in recent years. It was in 1984 that the Spain National Basketball team won the silver medal in the Summer Olympics. The national team won many prestigious titles and even took Barcelona in 1992. Since then, Spain has been having a love affair with basketball.
In short, the Spain National Basketball team was in full swing and they are indeed a good basketball team. They successfully developed the best team outside the US.
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Spain developed the best talent outside the US
The days are long gone when the United States was the only nation that produced impressive basketball players. With the world’s topmost basketball leagues continuing to become more competitive with fast globalization, Spain has already immersed itself into modern culture.
As such, players from the European region featured regularly in American title-winning teams. So, how did Spain produce so many world-class athletes in a short time? The Spain basketball team took NBA by storm and they have good reasons for that as well. To understand Spain’s impact on this sport, it is important to know about their sports culture.
Spanish basketball culture
There is no denying that football is the favorite sporting pastime in Europe. Whereas, basketball managed to grab the second position. This sport has become so popular that even local legends like Juan Antonio San Epifanio lit the torch at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
The Liga ACB, which is the top basketball league in Spain, is the biggest in Europe. Besides, the country’s top franchises tend to play in the Euro league. This is where they compete with the best basketball teams on the entire continent.
Fans across the world are aware of the Spanish powerhouse football clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, both these clubs have a basketball team as well. In addition, these teams are the most successful in Spain, too.
Apart from that, tickets to these matches are a lot cheaper. As such, it contributes to the growing popularity of basketball to a great extent. Moreover, during the past few years, NBA conceived the idea of capitalizing on European popularity and created a Europe-based NBA.
Developing players with all-round abilities
The success story of the topmost Spanish clubs is their emphasis on the overall development of a player from each aspect. For example, when it comes to basketball in the US, player conversions depend on their physical potential.
However, in Spain, the coaches demand the highest skill levels and knowledge about the game from the players. They rely less on the natural talent of the players. Besides, the Spanish Basketball Federation certifies the coaches.
It means that the players who get selected are much disciplined with razor-sharp abilities. These players communicate well, are coachable, and are ready to work together. They believe more in the team concept other than anything. And, they are more focused on winning as a team rather than pursuing individual success.
The restricted number of foreign players on the team is another aspect of the Spanish system. As a result, homegrown players tend to benefit a lot in terms of having enough opportunities to play, contrary to other professional leagues in Europe.
The `Golden Generation`
When it is about the Spanish National team and the NBA, the Hernangomez brothers, Wily and Juan have a key role to play. With a robust domestic structure in basketball, Spain made its mark on the international scene in recent years.
Starting from 1999 to the present day, the country’s `Golden Generation’ managed to win one Olympic bronze and two silver medals. In addition, the team set the platform at every Euro Basket tournament after 2007 and is considered world champions. The Gasols contributed to the success.
If Spain has to retain its place as a prolific team in the world of basketball, the Hernangomez brothers should bridge the gap alongside next-generation players. Even for the NBA to stay in this country and global, Spain has to succeed.
While Spain used to struggle at the top level, an improved structure gave the organization a new life. The achievements resulted in more success on the court and it helped them gain popularity in the sport. However, Spanish basketball lacks one trophy, an Olympic gold medal. If Marc Gasol, the Hernangomez brothers, and Rubio are healthy and fit, Spain might have a chance of winning gold.