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It’s a Family Affair

It’s a Family Affair

After Spain was victorious in the finale against Argentina, Juan and Willy Hernangomez can call themselves  the 2019 World Champions. Of course, it’s very special when two brothers win a World Cup title together, but it’s not unique. The Russian brothers Alexander and Sergei Belov did it first, at the World Cup of 1974.

What is special, is that Willy and Juan come from a real basketball family. They seem to have gotten their basketball skills from their mother. Their mother, Margarita Geuer, was a really good basketball player, and played no less than 158 games for the national team of Spain.

Normally, both brothers play with the name Hernangomez on the jersey of the national team, but this time around during the World Cup in China, that was different. To honour their mother, and show that both parents had contributed in their development as basketball players, Willy played this tournament with the name W. Geuer on his back. A true tribute to his mother.

Spain isn’t the only team where basketball genes can be found in the family. The same thing can be said of some players of their opponent, Argentina. The father of Luca Vildoza won the title of Argentina with Penarol, and the father of Luis Scola played on the highest level of Argentina as well.

But, there are more players at the World Cup with the basketball virus in their genes.

The father of the Canadian Kyle Wiltjer also was a very good international player. Father Greg player for the Canadian team for more than 12 years, and represented his country at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Rudy Gobert. Photo: FIBA

Rudy Gobert? He doesn’t get his talents from a stranger as well. His father, Rudy Bourganel, played 19 games for the national squad of France, and played besides Rik Smits at Marist College in the NCAA during the 80’s.

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There were even more connections within the Nigerian team. Star player Al Farouq Aminu has a father who’s played for Morehouse College in the US. His teammate Jordan Nwora was coached during this World Cup by his father Alex, who is the head coach of the national team.

The Russian team also has a father-son connection. Sergey Karasev also has a famous father. Papa Vasily was seen as one of the best points guards in Europe in the 90’s. Vasily placed second twice at a World Cup with Russia (1994, 1998).

But, the best family story of this World Cup lies with the Dominican Republic. Internationals Ronald Roberts and Dagoberta Pena both have a mother who played basketball. Roberts’ mother, Dania Santos, played for the national squad for nine years. And the mother of Pena, Christina Montilla, was an international for the Dominican Republic for almost 10 years. The best thing about this story: Pena and Montilla were teammates at the national team.

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