30 August, 2014
14 September
Walter Herrmann (ARG)
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'Papa' Herrmann feels like it's 2006

SEVILLA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - The blonde hair is still long and Walter Herrmann still has game. Watching the Argentinean forward go at it against Puerto Rico on the first day of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, it’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since the 35-year-old last played for Argentina.

"Man, he looks like back in 2006," said former Argentina national team star Fabricio Oberto, who is in Sevilla doing television commentary. "He looks great."

After scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the 98-75 win, Herrmann said: "I feel so good. After eight years I really feel like 2006."

Oberto and Hermann were teammates back in Japan at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, where Argentina finished fourth after a Semi-Final loss to Spain and then Third Place Game defeat against the United States.

Also in Spain doing TV work for Argentina media is Pepe Sanchez, another member of the 2006 squad. While Oberto and Sanchez were on the sidelines, Herrmann was enjoying his time with the white and blue of Argentina on his chest.

"It's unbelievable playing for Argentina again. Everybody wants to play for this team,” said Herrmann.

The Venado Tuerto native said it was also nice being back on the court with the country's old guard Luis Scola, Pablo Prigioni and Andres Nocioni.

"It's great to be playing with those guys. There are a lot of memories."

But it's different memories that prompted Herrmann to come back from a two-year retirement from the game in 2013.

He was enjoying his retirement - just shooting around and going to the gym - until he realised that his kids hadn't seen him really play basketball.

"I had two little kids and I wanted them to see me play basketball," said Herrmann about why he came back to the game.

He played for Atenas de Cordoba in the Argentinean League and led all players in scoring with 22.3 points per game while also averaging 7.1 rebounds.

"I played really good last season in Argentina. It was a surprise for me because I never thought I could play like this after two years of retirement."

Herrmann, who will play this upcoming season for Flamengo in Brazil, said Saturday's win was exactly the start Argentina needed to kickstart their Spain 2014 Group B campaign.

"We needed a win like this for our confidence. So it's really important. We are working on our way," said one of the elder statesmen of the team that is trying to install a championship-contending mentality into the young players who will eventually take over.

Despite the mix of players, Herrmann said the objective for the team is still to reach the Semis.

"Our goal is to play in the Semi-Finals. It's so hard because these teams play so hard but it’s our goal."

Herrmann wants to give his little children as many memories of him playing as possible.