Birthday: July 6, 1980
Age: 41 Years, 41 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Pau Gasol Sáez
Born in: Barcelona, Spain
Famous as: Basketball player
Height: 7'1" (216 cm), 7'1" Males
father: Agustí Gasol
mother: Marisa Sáez
siblings: Adrià Gasol, Marc Gasol
City: Barcelona, Spain
Notable Alumni: University Of Barcelona
education: University of Barcelona
awards: Princess of Asturias Award for Sports
NBA Rookie of the Year Award
NBA All-Rookie Team
J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award
Who is Pau Gasol?
Pau Gasol is a well-known Spanish basketball player, who has played for his country’s junior and senior national teams, and also for America’s ‘National Basketball Association’ (NBA). He belongs to a sports-oriented family, and his parents and two brothers also play basketball. He started his career with ‘CB Cornella’ and went on to play for ‘FC Barcelona’ to win the ‘Spanish National Cup.’ His family then migrated to the US, and he signed a contract with the ‘Grizzlies’ to become the first foreign player to be named the ‘NBA Rookie of the Year.’ The following season, he left the ‘Grizzlies’ and joined the ‘Los Angeles Lakers,’ with whom he won his first ‘NBA’ championship, when they beat the ‘Orlando Magic.’ In between, he was out of form for a while, after which he signed a contract with the ‘Chicago Bulls’ and improved his ratings to become the 36th ‘NBA’ player to have scored 10,000 points and 10,000 rebounds. Presently, he plays for the ‘San Antonio Spurs’ and has crossed his 20,000 points in his career. He was part of the Spanish team for the ‘FIBA World Championship’ and the ‘EuroBasket’ tournaments and was the flag-bearer for his country at the opening ceremony of the 2012 ‘Summer Olympics.’
Childhood & Early Life
Pau Gasol Saez was born on July 6, 1980, at the ‘Sant Pau Hospital,’ Barcelona, Spain. Both his parents worked at the Sant Pau Hospital. His mother, Marisa, was a doctor and his father, Agusti, was an administrator in the hospital. Both his parents also played second-division basketball in Spain. He spent his childhood in Cornella and later moved to Sant Boi de Llobregat, which was another suburb of Barcelona. He has two younger brothers, named Marc and Adria, who are just as tall as he is and also play professional basketball.
As a child, he played rugby and football. Later, as he grew tall, he switched to basketball. He was a shy child and did well in his studies. Initially, he was not interested in sports as a career and wanted to become a doctor. He joined the medical school at the ‘University of Barcelona’ but had to quit later due to his busy schedule of basketball.
He started playing basketball for his school team and later signed with ‘CB Cornella,’ a feeder club for ‘FC Barcelona,’ at the age of 16. He then graduated from the ‘Barcelona’ junior team to its senior team.
In 2001, he was named the ‘Most Valuable Player’ (MVP) of the tournament when ‘Barcelona’ won the ‘Spanish National Cup.’ He entered the ‘NBA’ draft the same year and was selected third overall in the first round by the ‘Atlanta Hawks,’ who later gave him up to the ‘Memphis Grizzlies’ in exchange for Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
His parents moved to Memphis, Germantown, Tennessee, US when he started playing for the ‘Grizzlies.’ His brothers also took up basketball at the ‘Lausanne Collegiate School’ in Memphis. Soon, his father began working from home, while his mother became a volunteer at the ‘St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.’
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He started his professional career with the ‘Grizzlies’ with an average of 17.6 points in his first season. He became the first foreign player to be named the ‘NBA Rookie of the Year’ and to be part of the ‘NBA All-Rookie First Team’ in 2001.
He played all 82 games in his first two seasons and missed the first game of the third season due to a foot injury. He scored his 3,000th point against the ‘Boston Celtics’ in the same season and became the fastest player to reach a score of 5,000 points in the following season.
In 2006, he became the first Spanish player and member of the ‘Grizzlies’ to have made it to the ‘NBA All-Star Game’ in Houston, Texas, as a reserve for the ‘Western Conference.’ He missed 23 games of the 2006–2007 ‘NBA’ season due to an injury sustained during the ‘FIBA World Championship’ semi-final between Spain and Argentina.
The following season saw Pau and his brother, Marc Gasol, being picked up by the ‘Los Angeles Lakers.’ When he left the ‘Grizzlies,’ he held twelve franchise records, including records for the number of field goals scored, shots blocked, and points made. He played his first game for the ‘Lakers’ against the ‘New Jersey Nets’ in February 2008, in which he scored 24 points.
Despite suffering another ankle injury, he played a number of games during the season and scored his 10,000th point against the ‘Utah Jazz’ in January 2009. He also made his second ‘All-Star’ appearance in the 2008–09 ‘NBA’ season and was named ‘Western Conference Player of the Month.’
He won his first ‘NBA’ championship when the ‘Lakers’ beat the ‘Orlando Magic’ in the 2009 finals. He signed a US$ 64.7-million deal with ‘Lakers’ for a three-year extension of his contract and made his third ‘All-Star’ appearance as a reserve for the ‘Western Conference.’ He averaged 18.3 points in the following three seasons and was named as the 15th-smartest athlete by the website and print magazine ‘Sporting News.’
Gasol was in poor form in 2010 due to which there were rumors of the ‘Lakers’ planning to trade him to acquire ‘Magic’ centre Dallas Mavericks. However, he did not let the rumors affect his game and went on to join Bryant as co-captain. He later proved his worth by winning the 2011–2012 ‘NBA Community Assist Award.’
He suffered a setback in the following season when he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and also received a blow in the face that made him lose his consciousness. However, he continued to play after missing a few games and gradually regained his form.
His contract with the ‘Lakers’ concluded in 2014, after which he signed a contract with the ‘Chicago Bulls.’ His form improved and he scored his career-high of 46 points against the ‘Milwaukee Bucks’ in a 106–101 win of his team. By the end of the season, he had become the 36th ‘NBA’ player to have scored 10,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.
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He has been playing for the ‘San Antonio Spurs’ since July 2016. He had to miss out on a month’s play in January 2017 due to an injured finger. He has crossed 20,000 points and 11,000 rebounds in his career and became the 34th ‘NBA’ player to have played over 40,000 career minutes.
Awards & Achievements
Throughout his ‘NBA’ career, he has achieved multiple feats. He has been the ‘NBA Rookie of the Year’ and part of the ‘NBA All-Rookie First Team’ in 2002. He has been part of the ‘NBA All-Star’ six times. He has also been part of the ‘All-NBA Third Team,’ the ‘All-NBA Second Team,’ and the ‘NBA Champion’ team, twice each.
His European awards include four ‘Euroscar’ awards and two ‘Mr. Europa,’ ‘FIBA Europe Player of the Year,’ and ‘All European Player of the Year’ awards each.
He has won a number of medals as part of the Spanish junior and senior national teams that include gold medals at the 1999 ‘FIBA Under-19 World Championship,’ at the 2006 ‘FIBA World Championship,’ and at the ‘EuroBasket’ in 2009, 2011, and 2015.
He also won silver medals at the 2008 and 2012 ‘Summer Olympic Games.’
Though Gasol could not complete his medical degree, he remains interested in medicine and often visits the ‘Children’s Hospital’ in Los Angeles to interact with patients and doctors for charity and to satiate his intellectual interest. He is especially interested in supporting the cure for AIDS and scoliosis. He is a member of the ‘Hoops for St. Jude,’ a charity program for the benefit of the ‘St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.’
He has sponsored free tickets for children to watch basketball. He is an ambassador for Spain’s ‘UNICEF Committee,’ as part of which he visited Angola and South Africa to sensitize people in dealing with children suffering with AIDS.
He has learnt French and Italian. He also knows English, Spanish, and Catalan languages since childhood. He loves reading historical books and plays classical music on the keyboard.
Since being recruited by the ‘Lakers,’ he lives in Redondo Beach, located in the South Bay region of greater Los Angeles and is believed to be dating Silvia Lopez Castro. There were rumors about a possible break-up when his performance in basketball dropped. However, he denied all such rumors and attributed his performance to his poor form.
Gasol first played for the senior Spanish national team in the 2001 ‘EuroBasket’ tournament. He was part of their winning team for the 2006 ‘FIBA World Championship’ and the teams for the ‘EuroBasket’ tournaments of 2009 and 2011.
He was the highest scorer at the 2004 ‘Summer Olympics’ and the flag- bearer for his country at the opening ceremony of the 2012 ‘Summer Olympics.’