Brand New Hornets Player From Mexico Learning Plays & English

New Orleans PelicansSpainMexicoNBAMonty Williams

Mexican native Gustavo Ayon is one of the Hornets' latest additions to the team, the third Mexican National to play for the NBA; the first in New Orleans.

The 6 foot 10 Center from Nayarit recently received his work visa and hit the court to make score some points, not just for the team but he's making points with the coach and fans too.

Coach Monty Williams says not only does Ayon have the skills, he is very well-mannered.

"We had a tough game for me, and I'm walking out of the parking lot, and Gustavo goes out of his way drive by and say 'Goodnight Coach'. You don`t see that a lot in the NBA, so he`s already someone who`s already stolen my heart, just from his demeanor and the way he works everyday," Williams said.

Ayon comes to the Hornets from Spain after being discovered by scouts. Prior to Spain, he was in Mexico.

He says he was the only one in his school was so tall, but it never was a real problem, except for maybe finding shoes and clothes that fit.

Now that he's in New Orleans, he's taking English classes and some Hornets employees are learning Spanish. At least a couple of people are able to communicate clearly with Ayon on the court right now.

Ayon is excited to be here, and is adapting. And the Hornets are adapting to him. His arrival was a surprise with an onslaught of Spanish speaking press from around the world. Hornets officials say his popularity with the Spanish language press is comparable to that of a "Drew Brees". So the Hornets are in the process of soon providing a Spanish section on its website.

In the meantime, Ayon will be holding more than a ball in his hands. In April he will be a father. His girlfriend is expecting, and is expected to becoming to New Orleans soon, so he'll be surrounded by his family. They have named the boy to-be Alvaro.

And while he has been busy on the court practicing and in class, trying to learn some English, he is anxious to get out and see the city and meet some fans.

"I would really like to get to know the Latino community and the Mexican community. It would be nice to see their lifestyle and see how we can help them while I'm here," Ayon said.


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