A lanky Spanish forward whose last name goes by Gasol plans to step foot on a basketball court in Los Angeles.
But we’re not talking about Pau, who enters this season with the Lakers refreshed without having to worry about trade rumors. Adria Gasol, the 18-year-old brother of Pau and Marc Gasol, will play for UCLA’s basketball team as a walk-on freshman.
You’d think the tremendous basketball talents Pau and Marc have displayed over the years would’ve transferred to his younger brother. Apparently not. Pau said Adria will redshirt this season and said “he has a lot of room to grow.”
“His interests weren’t into basketball,” said Pau Gasol, 32. “He was always forced to go to my games or Marc’s games. He was just tired of it. When he was around 15, he started to want to play.”
Adria played little as a freshman and sophomore at Lausanne High School in Memphis and then returned to Spain for the past two years. Although he worked out with the Spanish U-18 team last summer, Adria didn’t make the roster.
Pau, on the other hand, joined Barcelona’s senior team when he turned 18. Marc was overweight whie attending high school in Memphis and didn’t fully blossom as a player until becoming an All-Star center with the Grizzlies in the 2010-11 season. Incidentally, the Lakers acquired Pau from Memphis in February 2008 for Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, Javaris Crittenton, two first-round picks and the rights to Marc, whom the Lakers drafted with a second-round pick in 2007.
As for Adria? Pau said “his desire is to become a basketball player.” But he sounded uncertain on whether how Adria would develop after having an apparent knee injury years ago.
“He’s working a lot on his body,” Pau said. “He’s improving on the fundamentals of the game. He wants to be a power forward, but we’ll see. I think it’s too early. But he picks things up really quickly. He’s a smart kid. He’s still got some growing to do and he’s very raw. So it’s hard to tell at this point."
One thing is clear. Even though Pau raised the possibility he’ll attend some UCLA games this year, he sounded doubtful he would give Adria much indiividual instruction.
“There’s not much time,” Pau said. “He doesn’t have a car yet. We’ll see. Hopefully we can get some time and come down here in the evening and get some stuff done during the season. I want to continue to improve and he’s going to have opportiunities to work aside from the team since he might not get into their rotation this year. So he’s going to have to do a lot of individual work."
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