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Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Pedro Ferrándiz. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Pedro Ferrándiz. Mostrar todas las entradas

07 marzo 2007

Wayne Brabender


Brabender '67-leyenda del baloncesto en España

Posted by Judy Korn on Friday, Mar. 2, 2007

University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) graduate Wayne Brabender’s life has all the elements of a good story—an interesting main character, unexpected turns, competitive action, a bit of humor, and a beautiful, exotic setting. Basketball drives the plot and shapes a narrative rich with success. Although the tale continues—the ending far from written, Brabender’s story is already a legend in his adopted country of Spain.

Brabender identifies his senior year of high school in Milan, Minnesota, as one of the first hurdles in his basketball career. An elbow to the forehead during play resulted in a serious injury, a fractured skull. Benched for most of the year, he only played the last six games of the season. Coach Al Swanson was there to witness his successful comeback and recruited him to play for his team at Willmar Junior College, now Ridgewater College.

“I had two good years at Willmar,” reflects Brabender.

That’s an understatement. In 1965, Willmar Junior College basketball went all the way to the national tournament, and Brabender received offers to finish his last two years of basketball action at universities across the nation.

Coach Swanson counseled Brabender regarding his college decision. “He said I wouldn’t ‘get lost’ at Morris,” remembers Brabender. “And Noel Olson, the UMM coach, was very ‘down to earth.’ I liked him.”

Cougar success

The next exciting episode of Brabender’s story would be played in Morris as a Cougar “basketball star,” as the newspapers called him. In 1967, he was named Most Valuable Player, received Northern Intercollegiate Conference honors, and was selected as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American. Forty years after graduating from UMM, he continues to hold Cougar records: highest career scoring average at 23.6 highest season average points per game at 24.3 highest season total rebounds at 303 and single game most rebounds at 23.

Now for a humorous interlude…and a dramatic turn of events. The NBA Philadelphia 76ers drafted Brabender in 1967, but that summer, they happened to mention his name and his talents to a very famous Spanish coach representing Real Madrid, Spain’s premiere basketball club. This event in Brabender’s story is told on Real Madrid’s Web site as an important part of the team’s history:

"So mythical Pedro Ferrándiz went away to see this boy. To Morris, a small city in Minnesota, really far from Filadelfia. When he arrived, a very blond and very thin boy opens the door for him. Ferrándiz asks him for his older brother. ‘My older brothers don’t play basketball,’ answers Wayne Brabender."

On first meeting, Brabender didn’t match Ferrándiz’s expectations. But after watching the tenacious guard play, Ferrándiz was convinced his skills would benefit Real Madrid. He invited Brabender to join the team. The young Minnesotan traveled to Spain to play the familiar game he loved in an unfamiliar place that would soon become home.

International achievements

Brabender played professional basketball with Real Madrid for 16 years, garnering 14 league championships, 7 Spanish Cup Championships, 3 International Cup Championships, 1 World Championship for Clubs, and 4 European Club Championships.

For 14 years, he played with the Spanish National Team earning a silver medal in the European championship and MVP of Europe in 1973. The following year, the Spanish National Team placed fifth in the world championship in Puerto Rico—an outstanding feat for Spanish basketball at the time, and Brabender received all-world first team honors.

The Olympics are also a chapter in Brabender’s basketball career. He played in the Munich games in 1972 and the Moscow games in 1980 when the Spanish team took fourth place. In 1988, he was in Seoul as an assistant coach. Coaching has also brought Brabender success, at the professional level and at the club level. In 1989, under Brabender’s leadership as head coach, Spain won the world SUP 22 championship.

Teaching and playing ball

This year, Brabender marks 40 years in Spain and almost as many as a Spanish citizen. The UMM experience—academics and relationships with fellow students and coaches— “has helped me throughout the years,” he says. He “validated” his UMM degree in Spain and now teaches physical education at a private school in Getafe, a position he enjoys very much. He makes his home in the historic city of Illescas.

Basketball remains a vital component of Brabender’s story. He’s the sports director at a successful basketball club, Club Deportivo Illescas, that has produced two championship teams. During the summer, he directs three basketball camps in Alabacete, La Rua Ourense, and for La Fundación Real Madrid.

And Brabender—a member of the Cougar Hall of Fame and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Hall of Fame—is still playing basketball, 30-40 games per year throughout Spain and around the world. “It’s a great way to keep promoting basketball,” he says.

Brabender calls himself and his teammates “the old timers.” Their official name is much more accurate: Real Madrid Leyendas del Baloncesto—basketball legends.

fuente/ source & foto/photo morris.umn.edu

23 enero 2007

El nuevo Ferrándiz

Esta semana se ha hecho pública la prórroga del contrato de Joan Plaza, como entrenador del Real Madrid, hasta 2008, con el correspondiente aumento de sueldo para el técnico catalán. El momento elegido por los actuales dirigentes de la sección, Antonio Martín y Alberto Herreros, no ha podido ser más idóneo ya que llega después de las primeras derrotas en la liga y cuando el equipo se está enfrentando a una verdadera plaga de lesiones –Raül, Hamilton, Mumbrú, Varda-, que ha obligado a tirar de la cantera, a recuperar a Sinanovic –estaba jugando en el filial- y a buscar refuerzos. La decisión es fácilmente entendible teniendo en cuenta que el equipo blanco lidera la liga ACB y ha quedado campeón de grupo en la ULEB, pero el baloncesto es el paradigma de deporte de equipo en el que el hacer las cosas bien durante toda la temporada no siempre garantiza el éxito final. Cosa de los sistemas de competición.

La gran trayectoria madridista, hasta el día de hoy, tiene como principal artífice a su entrenador. Plaza ha repartido el tiempo de juego entre sus hombres casi matemáticamente, y las rotaciones sólo han peligrado cuando han llegado las lesiones, que esta vez podrían justificar, sin sonar a excusa, las primeras derrotas en liga. El reparto de minutos ha conseguido que todos los integrantes de la plantilla se hayan podido considerar importantes y que el equipo haya mantenido siempre un alto nivel de juego, sobre todo en defensa, que acaba por agotar finalmente la resistencia del contrincante. Está por ver si con los nuevos fichajes se puede mantener esa filosofía.

De momento creemos que se ha vuelto a acertar con la bestia parda de Marko Milic, tanto por su presente –buenos números con el Olimpia de Ljubljana en la Euroliga- como por su pasado madridista: en su anterior etapa blanca dejó un sabor agridulce por su tendencia a perder la concentración en muchos momentos. El alero no viene sólo a sustituir a Mumbrú ya que jugará también como pívot bajo y es un jugador muy distinto al alero internacional. La primera prueba de juego que habrá de pasar el “nuevo Madrid” de Plaza será la Copa del Rey, un torneo maldito para los blancos, y abierto siempre a las sorpresas, donde ser el líder de la liga no garantiza pasar el primer corte.

Hace unas semanas el presidente del Real Madrid se refirió a Joan Plaza como el nuevo Ferrándiz. Al basket blanco, menos mal, no le toca muy a menudo ser el objeto de los comentarios del mandamás merengue, aunque el efecto, cuando lo ha hecho, es el mismo que el se produce cuando habla de fútbol. Plaza, o cualquier entrenador que en el futuro tenga que ocupar su puesto, está muy lejos de acercarse –por los años en el puesto y las copas conquistadas por don Pedro- a lo conseguido por el mejor entrenador de la historia blanca, aunque, de momento, los inicios no pueden ser más prometedores. Las comparaciones siempre son odiosas.

Artículo publicado en Libertad Digital