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Pau Gasol i Sàez

Biography

(born July 6, 1980 in Sant Boi de Llobregat,


Barcelona, Spain) is a 2.13 m (7 ft.) Spanish
professional basketball player for the Los Angeles
Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He was born to Marisa Sàez and Agustí Gasol, and
he spent his childhood growing up in Spain. Gasol's
brother, Marc Gasol, is also a professional
basketball player. Gasol was drafted by the Atlanta
Hawks in the 2001 NBA Draft, but his rights were
traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he won the
NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He currently holds the Memphis Grizzlies
franchise records for career games played, minutes played, field goals made
and attempted, free throws made and attempted, offensive, defensive, and
total rebounds, blocked shots, turnovers, and points.[1] After seven seasons
with the team, Gasol was traded to the Lakers on February 1, 2008, and a
USA Today newspaper article said he was "the major factor in turning around
a storied NBA franchise and making it hip to be a Lakers fan again."

Gasol began playing basketball with his school team called Alvirne, and he
eventually signed with Cornellà.[3] When he was sixteen, he began playing
for Barcelona's junior team.[3] He also won both the 1998 Albert Schweitzer
Tournament and the 1998 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship.[4] After
moving to the senior team of Barcelona, Gasol played just eleven total
minutes in the 1998-99 season, and averaged under 15 minutes per game in
the next year.[4] However, in his final season in Europe, Gasol averaged 11.3
points and 5.2 rebounds in just under 24 minutes per game. Barcelona was
victorious in the Spanish National Cup championship game in 2001, and
Gasol was named Most Valuable Player.[4] After entering the NBA Draft,
Gasol was selected third overall in the first round in the 2001 NBA Draft by
the Atlanta Hawks,[5] who traded his draft rights to the Memphis Grizzlies in
exchange for Shareef Abdur-Rahim.[6]

Fun Facts about Pau Gasol


Named MVP of the 2006 FIBA World Championships in leading Spain to the
gold medal, despite missing the final due to a broken fifth metatarsal in his
left foot • Played for Spain in the 2004 Olympics, averaging 22.4 ppg, and
7.3 rpg • Parents are Marisa, a physician, and father, Agusti, a hospital
administrator • Has two younger brothers: Adria and Marc, a 6-10 center who
played high school basketball at Lausanne in Memphis for two seasons
before joining Pau’s former team of F.C. Barcelona back in Spain • Pau and
Marc were teammates on the Spanish national team during the 2006 World
Championships • Parents both played second-division basketball in Spain •
His parents and brothers lived with him in Memphis during his rookie season
• Speaks three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English • Native of
Catalonia, a region on the coast of Spain • Planned to become a doctor and
attended a year of medical school at the University of Barcelona at age 18
until pro basketball changed his plans • Began playing at the age of seven,
and started as a point guard until he was 13 • First contact with the NBA was
at age 12, watching the original Dream Team on television win the Olympic
Gold Medal in Barcelona in 1992 • Lists Michael Jordan as the most exciting
player he’s ever played against • Is a five-year sponsor of Tickets for Kids
with “Pau’s Amigos” • Is a member of the Grizzlies’ All-Star Reading Team,
and has participated in the Grizzlies’ Stay in School Challenge Reception •
Participated in the Read to Achieve Tip-off event at the Collierville Town
Library last season where he read to kids, signed autographs and helped
open the reading and learning center inside the library • Has done public
service announcements for Memphis City Schools Reads, UNICEF and
Memphis City Schools Fight Free Fifty, which encourages MCS students to go
50 days without fighting in school • Met with patients of St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital during their Thanks & Giving Campaign last year • Along
with the PSA he did for UNICEF, during the summer of 2005 he visited South
Africa with the organization to act as an ambassador in the fight against
AIDS.

Quotes by Pau Gasol

“We are trying hard to bounce out of this funk. That's the only way we are
going to do it. We have to win one or two games, loosen up, and play with
confidence.”

“We had to release all of that frustration. It was rewarding to see each one of
us working so hard to get that reward of a win.”