Spain is not only about football. In the heart of Madrid there is an arena called the WiZink Center where thousands of basketball fans gather together to see their team play. Two teams share the court. Estudiantes and Real Madrid. We’re going to talk about a player who started at one club before coming a legend at the other.
On February 10th Real Madrid hosted Kirolbet Baskonia in the Liga Endesa. The attendance was higher than usual. It was an important game but many fans were there to pay homage to the Real Madrid number 9, their number 9, Felipe Reyes.
The captain had just reached another milestone in his already amazing career. The previous weekend saw the 38 year-old power-forward move ahead of Barcelona player Joan Creus who held the previous record of 778 appearances in the National League and ACB. Reyes had become the player with the most games played in the history of the Spanish basketball league.
He was presented the award by the president of the ACB league, Antonio Martín after an emotional video summarizing the best moments of his career so far. He was also given a shirt signed by all his teammates. Over 13,000 fans were on their feet applauding and cheering their captain.
El “Espartaco” as they call him is Spain, was born in Córdoba but started his career in Madrid over 20 years ago. He made his debut for Estudiantes during the 1998/99 season. He played for Real Madrid’s main rivals before moving to the Whites in 2004.
As fate would have it he made his Real Madrid debut against Kirolbet Baskonia, the same team the Whites faced on Sunday. Since joining Felipe Reyes has helped Real Madrid to six ACB League titles and six Copa del Rey titles on the domestic front. The captain is also the all-time career leader in total rebounds in the ACB.
The Spaniard has recently renewed his contract with the Whites until June 2020. That would see him defend the Real Madrid jersey for an incredible 16 seasons. No doubt there will be more titles for Reyes before his contract expires. Hala Madrid, Hala Reyes!