Here are the Latino pioneers of the most important basketball league on the planet.
We present to you the first basketball players to reach the NBA. / Photos: Wikimedia - Elemaki, - Ritcheed, - Richard Durrett
LatinamericanPost| Juan Manuel Londoño
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Leer en español: Estos fueron los primeros latinos de cada país en entrar a la NBA
It seems that Jaime Echenique, a native of the city of Barranquilla, will be the first Colombian to play professionally in the NBA. The 23-year-old will be in the Draft on October 16, according to El Espectador.
It is an important event in the sports world for this country, which has international representation in sports such as cycling and soccer, but little has ventured into basketball.
This generally applies in Latin America, where the majority of athletes that are exported are soccer players. However, several countries have had pioneers entering the world of basketball. Here we present them to you.
Panama- Rolando Blackman
We start with Rolando Blackman, the first man born in Panama to enter the league. In it, he had a moderately successful career, playing most of the time for the Dallas Mavericks. Rolando was an All-Star 4 times and averaged 18 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3 assists during his career.
Puerto Rico- Butch Lee
This athlete does not have the distinction of only being the first Puerto Rican player in the NBA, but also the first Latino.
Lee had a stellar career, winning championships in the NCAA, NBA, and the BSN, or Superior National Basketball, the first league in the sport in Puerto Rico. Lee played during his career for the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Lakers, winning the championship with the latter. During his career, he averaged 8 points, 1 rebound, and 3 assists.
Argentina- Juan Ignacio Pepe Sanchez
The first Argentine in the NBA did not have a spectacular career, as he only played a few minutes for several teams, scoring points that did not even come close to double digits, according to NBALatam. He was most successful in the Euroleague, where he was champion in 2002.
La historia de Pepe Sánchez, el primer argentino en debutar en la #NBA— NBA Latam (@NBALatam) May 8, 2020
En su cumpleaños, una charla en la que repasa su carrera en la #NBA, su debut en el MSG y su experiencia en la liga pic.twitter.com/gvHHwDHAnV
Venezuela- Carl Herrera
Mentioning a more successful player, let's talk about Carl Herrera, the first Venezuelan in the NBA. Herrera was twice NBA champion, during 1994 and 1995, and was able to play with legends like Hakeem Olajuwon. During his professional career, he averaged 6 points and 4 rebounds per game.
Brazil- Rolando Ferreira
The last basketball bag on this list has a less spectacular career. This is Rolando Ferreira, who was the center of the Portland Trailblazers during the 1988-1989 season. He also had a terrible season, scoring just 9 points in 12 games.