They were tipped for success before the tournament began, and Spain has fulfilled all expectations as the strongest basketball team in Europe, successfully winning the FIBA EuroBasket championships. This marks a historic fourth title in the last six editions of the prestigious continental contest.
Spain claimed the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 crown with an 88-76 victory over France, adding to the titles already won in 2009, 2011, and 2015. Incredibly, this latest triumph underlined just how powerful Spain are as a basketball nation, having achieved their 14th top-three finish since the competition began in 1935. Furthermore, they have only finished outside the top-three once in the last eleven editions, dating back to 1999.
As the outstanding EuroBasket players, Spain centre Willy Hernangómez claimed the Mos Valuable Player award, thanks to an impressive average of 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds during the tournament. He also formed part of the All-Star Five alongside compatriot Lorenzo Brown, Dennis Schroder of Germany, Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece, and Rudy Gobert of France.
Team packed with NBA experience
Featuring a subtle mix of youthful talents and seasoned professionals, the successful EuroBasket selection from Spain boasts enviable strength in all areas. What’s more, several key players have experienced life in the NBA, either previously or currently. Thanks to this latest success, those who feature in Spain’s Liga ACB will also be attracting attention, as North American scouts monitor their progress.
Vastly experienced at the highest level of the game, 37-year-old Spain captain Rudy Fernández is considered an iconic player at Real Madrid and with the national team, although he also enjoyed a spell in the NBA. After three strong seasons with Portland Trail Blazers, reaching the NBA Playoffs each year, Rudy spent half of the 2011-12 season at Denver Nuggets, before deciding to return home.
Between 2013 and 2019, 32-year-old Lorenzo Brown represented four different NBA teams, beginning with spells at Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Phoenix Suns, before concluding with two seasons with Toronto Raptors. After a short stay at Guangzhou Long-Lions in China, Brown has gone on to represent European sides Fenerbahçe, UNICS Kazan, and he currently plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.
While the iconic Gasol brothers may no longer be playing for Spain, the traditions of brothers representing the national team continues, both of whom are in the NBA. 28-year-old EuroBasket MVP Willy Hernangómez currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans, following previous spells at New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets. His younger brother is 26-year-old Juancho Hernandgómez, recently acquired by Toronto Raptors, becoming his sixth NBA side.
Expected to have a highly promising future ahead of him, 20-year-old Usman Garuba joined the Houston Rockets from Real Madrid in 2021, making 24 game appearances in the NBA during the 2021-22 season. He also represented their NBA G League affiliate side last year, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Spanish Liga ACB strength
Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of this current golden generation for Spain, only one of the EuroBasket 2022 squad represents on of the “Big Two” Liga ACB clubs, namely Rudy Fernández of Real Madrid. This time however, there were no representatives of Barcelona in the national selection, although that could change in the coming years.
When it comes to domestic and continental silverware in basketball, Real Madrid and Barcelona are always the two candidates, eternally locked in a fierce battle for supremacy, mirroring the competitiveness of the respective soccer teams. As two of the biggest and most famous sporting institutions in the world, they boast millions of adoring fans around the whole globe.
Heading into the 2022-23 Liga ACB and EuroLeague campaigns, Real Madrid and Barcelona are already the strong favourites in both competitions, although comparing odds is always worthwhile before choosing who to back. Getting honest reviews for the top online betting sites can help in this regard, especially when accompanied by in-depth wagering advice and guides, along with tips on where to find the best offers and promotions.
Insofar as oddsmakers are concerned, Barcelona are currently slight favourites to win the EuroLeague this season, while Real Madrid have a slight edge in Liga ACB markets. Either way, these titans will clash plenty of times throughout the upcoming basketball campaign, giving fans plenty of exciting action they can look forward to watching. They are also the hotbed for future stellar talents, who could get the opportunity to emerge and form part of the next golden generation for Spain.