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18 octubre 2006

The new Petrovic?

Translated into English by Allison Abramson

Just one year ago, Ricard “Ricky” Rubio- born in El Masnou, October 21, 1990— became the youngest player to debut in the ACB league.  On the day of his debut, he still hadn’t even blown out his 15 candles. Today we are in the presence of an important player of a first-level team like Joventut, whose inexhaustible reserve of young players never get tired of showing their talent year after year. The green and black point-guard is capable of playing and orchestrating plays while surrounded by his opponents and teammates, who in some cases, are twice his age. His statistics leave no room for doubt as they are leading him to be the sixth man of La Penya’s (Joventut) rotation. This summer, the young basketball prodigy returned to the center of media attention when the Spanish national team was awarded the European U16 championship title: in the final he tallied up an impressive 51 points, 24 rebounds, 12 assists, and 7 steals, in addition to forcing an overtime during which he scored a 3-point shot from mid-court.

As soon as he turns sixteen, Rubio will sign his first professional contract. His team has been trying to stop the rumors and avoid the temptations by the rival teams, who are very interested in getting the contract of the future star.       Up until now, it has been impossible since the labor legislation forbids the employment of youths under the age of 16. This is quite a contradiction, as Ricky shares the locker-room with professionals who make their living on the court. Achieving success in a sport at such a young age can have its disadvantages and can end up damaging the professional career of a boy who has yet to graduate high school. There are a few previous young athletes who were not able to reach the finish line, unlike sports icons like Fernando Alonso or Tiger Woods.  Basketball in the United States has an advantage over us in this situation. There, with the exception of a few cases, players who have not graduated from college (usually graduate by age 22) are not allowed to leap into the professional circuit. Rubio will have to mature on a personal level, with the help and control of the people around him. At the moment, it seems that Aito has taken the reigns. Ricky does not even appear on La Penya’s official website as a player of the first team.

The comparisons in terms of his premature impact on European basketball are similar to another point guard, equally as precocious in his time: Drazen Petrovic.    When the genius from Sibenik jumped into the limelight, the NBA remained a far reach for any European basketball player. However, in the case of Rubio, they are already talking on end about his future in playing for the best league in the world, while there is still a long way to go around these parts. Either way, he knows that to be a well-rounded player, he has to apply the same amount of intensity on defense as he does in the attack. To make even more improvements in his technical performance as well as to prepare himself physically, he still has time. But he is off to a good start…already wearing #32, the same number as Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Published in Libertad Digital (October 15th, 2006)

2 comentarios:

  1. Anónimo6:55 a. m.

    Tio genio... ya sé con quien puedo jugar baloncesto porque creo que mi padre no tiene ni idea. Así que serás el encargado de jugar conmigo y enseñarme ehhhhh. Por cierto, dale un beso a mi tía Alli.

  2. Anónimo8:09 a. m.

    Ya sabía yo que andabas tramando algo Bringas.


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