25 August, 2023
10 September
Juan Nunez _ ESP
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Nunez rising to the challenge as La Familia's latest prodigy

JAKARTA (Indonesia) - It's been a seamless start to the World Cup for the reigning World and European champions Spain, and it's been a seamless start for Juan Nunez in his debut campaign.

The 19-year-old has been handed the reins as the starting point guard and already made an instant impact with an average of 6.5 assists across the first two victories with a Second Round spot already clinched.


With Ricky Rubio missing out on FIBA EuroBasket 2022 due to injury, Spain turned to Lorenzo Brown to pull the strings in the backcourt. Then, with both players absent for World Cup preparations, it led to Spain fast-tracking plans for their 2004-born prospect.

It marks an incredible rise for Nunez who has gone from becoming the youngest MVP in FIBA U20 European Championship history to a World Cup starter in little over a year. The Madrid native also won a league title in Germany with ratiopharm Ulm in between after making the move from Real Madrid.

Already such composure shown in the face of shouldering big responsibility with the national team, and it's no wonder there are such high hopes.

"We trust him as one of the pillars of our team for the future," declared head coach Sergio Scariolo. "We are missing two veteran point guards which has helped him be here, but he is responding. It has accelerated the process we were figuring out for him a little bit.

"There's no question for the next 10-12 years, his call to lead this team with leadership, humility, desire to improve and desire to play for the team. Being one of the builders of the bridge which we are trying to create for the new guys."

Some of the records and numbers behind a strong start so far from Nunez:

- Second teenager to start for Spain at a World Cup since 1990;
- The most assists (8) by a Spanish player on their World Cup debut;
- Second World Cup debutant to record at least 8 assists with 0 turnovers;
- Youngest recipient of the TCL Player of the Game in this edition;
- Leads the team in rebounds (6.0) and assists (6.5).

Nunez has looked right at home on the World Cup stage, and even with bigger tests to come down the road, the whole of La Familia will be right behind him with full support for their latest breakthrough talent.