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01.09.2009 20:27

Regal Barça clinch deal for basketball star

Carles Cascante

The most talented young player in European basketball has joined Regal Barça. Center Ricky Rubio, 18 years old and 1.92 tall, will bring leadership, defensive ability and talent to the reigning ACB champion.

Ricky Rubio, born in Masnou on 21st October 1990, is a product of the Joventut Badalona youth academy, although he started playing basketball with Masnou Bàsquetbol, before joining Joventut in 2002. His imaginative playing style, his talent for defending and his leadership qualities made him the most sought after player on the summer market and a player destined to make history. Now he’s joined Barça.

Fours years of madness

80440392FD006_ITA_ULEB_Cup_.JPGRicky Rubio’s basketball career started young and has been meteoric. On 15th October 2005, at the age of just 14 years, 11 months and 24 days, he became the youngest ever player in the ACB. In the game against Granada, Rubio notched up his first two points, gave his first assist and made two steals.

He delighted the crowds with his exciting and spectacular play and was selected for the Beijing Olympics when he was just 17. He was a key component of the Spain team that won the silver medal and became the youngest ever medal winner in the history of Olympic basketball. He was selected in the 2009 draft at number 5 by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A young start

His progress from his ACB debut to the NBA draft was at lightening speed. He rose up to the junior squad in 2005-06 and then that same season made the leap to the ACB, playing 14 games. He made his European debut in the same season in the FIBA Eurocup, playing five games.

In 2006/07 under coach Aíto García Reneses, the same coach that had shown his confidence in him the previous season, he made the definite move up to the senior squad. He also made his Euro league debut this year.

His stats with Joventut

qm3d9779.JPGFrom the 2005/06 season, Ricky Rubio played 121 games with stats of 20 minutes played, 7.2 points, 2.7 rebounds 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals. His numbers have improved season on season.

His best game so far came in round 9 of the 2007/08 season against Akasvayu Girona. Rubio finished with a value of 34 thanks to 25 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in the 28 minutes he was on court in the Olímpic Badalona.

In the Euro league, he has played 21 games -16 in the 2006/07season and 5 in 2008/09.
Regal Barça clinch deal for basketball star
Innate talent
Ricky Rubio is one of those talents that leave nobody indifferent. His early talent and his tremendous leadership qualities are the central strands of his short but intense career so far. Apart from these factors, perhaps unique in a player of just 18, Rubio stands out for his fantastic reading of the game.

His trademark passes and enormous defensive skills make his one of the best stealers in the competition. His height (206 cm.) and long arms helped him achieve the best steal stats of his career in 2007/08 – an average of 2.3 in 33 regular phase games.

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