Flamengo's Rafael Hettsheimeir wins 2021 BCLAmericas MVP
MANAGUA (Nicaragua) - Rafael Hettsheimeir was named MVP following Flamengo’s thrilling 84-80 victory over Real Esteli in the Basketball Champions League Americas Finals. The 6-foot-10 center from Brazil finished with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists and an efficiency rating of 28 (the highest in the game for both clubs).
Hettsheimeir was a monster in the paint as he helped Flamengo win the offensive rebounding battle by three and freed Lucas Martinez, Yago Santos and the team’s leading scorer, Marquinhos Sousa, with open looks from the perimeter and driving opportunities.
With Santos struggling from the perimeter and the defense sagging off the young point guard, Real Esteli should’ve had more bodies to double team and contain Hettsheimeir’s soft touch and moves around the rim. Instead, Ronaldo Balkman and others were no match for the old-school big man, who dominated throughout the game.
Hettsheimeir was the second-leading scorer on Flamengo’s roster coming into this championship game as he averaged 10.8 points per outing. He struggled in the quarterfinals vs. Caballos, scoring only nine points and shooting a rough 3-of-9 from the field, but his performance in the final – and throughout the tournament for that matter – keyed Flamengo to their first BCLAmericas title.
At 34 years old, this isn’t Hettsheimeir’s first time playing at a high level on one of the bigger stages in international hoops. The veteran has suited up for 12 different international clubs, including Real Madrid in 2012-13 and two stints with Bauru. He has won four different titles, capturing the Spanish Supercup in 2012, the Spanish League in 2013, the FIBA South American League in 2014 and the FIBA Americas League in 2015.
In addition to team accolades, Hettsheimeir has his fair share of individual successes that can now be bolstered by his BCLA MVP. The talented low post scorer is a three-time member of the All-Brazilian League Team and was the only center to ever win the NBB All-Star Three-Point event.
Hettsheimeir also played with the FIBA AmeriCup gold-medal winning Brazil team in 2005 and the silver-medal winning squad of 2011. He competed in the Pan American Games with his country in 2015, when they took home yet another gold medal.
Overall, Hettsheimeir’s performance and ability to help bring the title back to Flamengo is one of the bigger accomplishments in his impressive career. After losing to Quimsa by six in the final last year, this was an opportunity for Hettsheimeir to break through with a Flamengo club that was desperate for redemption.