The legend of Gran Canaria receives this Sunday the ‘Legend’ award in the third edition of the Spanish Basketball Gala, which will take place from 8:00 p.m. at the Santa Catalina Hotel
A treat for eternity for those who have revolutionized basketball with their game. Carmelo Cabrera Domínguez (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, January 6, 1950) can boast of having been selected by Spain 102 times and winning with Real Madrid (1968- 1979) four editions of the European Cup, ten of the ACB League, seven of the Copa del Rey and three of the Intercontinental Cup.
What does this recognition mean to you? basketball?
-It’s the most important prize I received in my sporting career, that of being a legend, well for that you have to have a few years. It affects me now, after I retired 34 years ago. It makes me extremely happy that they still remember me, that I left a small mark in Spanish basketball. It is appreciated and, in addition, to share it with another great star like Amaya Valdemoro. I just have to thank a lot those who nominated me, but also all my colleagues from the Gran Canaria Basketball Association, from Tenerife, from Valladolid, from Real Madrid… From all those for whom I was able to play because it has to be act of a shared price.
– You enjoyed the beautiful…
–In an associative and collective sport like basketball, it is the responsibility of a single person, but thank you to all those who have supported me for many years, who have made me benefit, who have shared my best moments with all these colleagues because it there have been hundreds of companions because I have been in the Spanish team, in Europe, everywhere. I thank all those who allowed me to obtain this prize which, by the way, must be shared with all.
–And in addition to receiving it in Gran Canaria…
-Yes, this is the third edition and the first to be held outside Madrid. It is very important and that they recognize it in your country, that they surround you with your family, your relatives, your friends, my grandchildren, my colleagues… Everyone is mad because a canary awards the National Basketball Legend Award. I am euphoric, very happy and very grateful to everyone. As I was distributing from the base position, I like to continue distributing the game and the assists to share it with everyone.
–He has had an unforgettable career and a source of pride…
-The other day, the biographer reminded me that he won 42 children’s titles on the national team. I did not expect that. I wanted to change the style of basketball a bit, at first I was quite misunderstood. It seems that you come out of certain canons while my game is very particular. I love spectacular nature and today’s imagination, self-confidence, I see myself reflected very well in another canary like ‘Chacho’ -Sergio Rodríguez-, this cheerful game. People ask me how he played and, saving the distance because he had the chance to play in the NBA, to succeed with Real Madrid and delight us with this game, but that’s the closest thing to Because of that spontaneity, that creativity and always doing something new, which is always hard, pull it out of your hat and change up the basketball a bit. To see it in color and not in black and white and in three dimensions is the most beautiful thing about basketball.
– Precisely, ‘Chacho’ returns to Real Madrid this season. A new opportunity to continue enjoying your game in the Endesa league, isn’t it?
-Sure. I bet on him, he had an impressive season in Italy, he has maturity, leadership, creativity, altruism when it comes to sharing the game, taking responsibility even when you have to have it and it makes it very good. Above all, because of this baggage that he has since he is very important and that Real Madrid have always remembered. I’m happy that they continue to have canaries in their ranks, it’s important, just as I would like there to be more canaries in our respective teams here, in La Laguna and in Gran Canaria.
– At this event, the absolute national team will be present, which will play against Lithuania this Tuesday at the Arena (6:30 p.m.). How do you see this generation change without the Gasol brothers or Sergio Rodríguez himself?
-It’s obviously difficult, but we have seen in the U-18s and U-20s that a lot of values stand out. I always bet on the base, I also bet because there is more participation of Spanish players in our ACB League, which is the second best in the world. It’s all a big chain, but the selection may now have a big generational shift it needs to adapt to. Personalities like Gasol or Chacho have left, but there are still competitive people like Hernangómez and those young people who have pushed. We will continue to hold the bar very high, but we have set it so high that it will be quite difficult to match it again.
-He said before that he would like the Granca to have more canaries. What is your analysis of this situation at the club? And also the institutional and sporting moment?
–It is the usual workhorse, which must be sown in order to reap. We must continue to invest a lot in the base and have patience for new values to come. It’s politics, the Cabildo is the one who takes the reins of the club and we will try again to find the level of play that we had and, above all, fans with those roots that we have had in recent years. And we have set ourselves the objectives of being in the Copa del Rey, of playing in the Playoffs for the title and of being in a European competition. It’s got it for the budget, for the charisma, for the cache and for everything… Gran Canaria deserves to be among the best.
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