As you may know, Spain hosts 2014 Basketball World Cup, with the best national teams in the world, and some of the most important matches will be held in Barcelona in September. What you might not know is that Barcelona has a long basketball tradition, and not only with Barça team. Today we tell you all about it.
The first basketball club in town was FC Barcelona (Barça), founded in 1926. It is also the oldest basketball team in the Spanish League. Although Barça is famous worldwide for its football, it has plenty of other sections that are as good as Messi’s team, and basketball is one of them. They have won 18 Spanish Leagues, 23 Spanish Cups and 2 Euroleagues. Not bad, right?
Its most emblematic player is Epi (Juan Antonio San Epifanio), who played for 19 years with Barça and was especially popular during the 1980s. He was not only one of the best players in the club’s history, but he was also charismatic and beloved among supporters.
Gasol brothers are also from Barcelona. If you like NBA, you probably know them: Pau (Chicago Bulls) and his younger brother Marc (Memphis Grizzlies). They both started their career at Barça, and then flew to the USA.
But Barça has one great competitor in town: Club Joventut from Badalona, also known as “La Penya”. This team was founded in 1930, only 4 years after Barça, and it has been one of the best in the Spanish League ever since. It is popular for having one of the best basketball schools for kids in Europe and for its fast and aggressive style for playing.
One curious fact about La Penya: its equipment is green and black, but why? Some of the team members went to the city centre to get a uniform and they only found these colours. As simple as that! And through the years green and black have become their hallmark.
So basketball fans in Barcelona are divided: the worldwide known Barça or the more humble but locally beloved La Penya. Which one do you choose?