Willy Hernangomez: 'Winning EuroBasket with Juancho is more than a dream'
BERLIN (Germany) - Willy Hernangomez described the feeling of winning the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 title alongside his brother Juancho as 'more than a dream'.
The 28-year-old received the TISSOT MVP award following Spain's 88-76 triumph against France in Sunday's Final and was handed the official accolade by tournament ambassador Dirk Nowitzki.
"PLAYING FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM TOGETHER AND WINNING EUROBASKET IS MORE THAN A DREAM."
"My brother and I come from a humble family in the outskirts of Madrid, Las Rozas. We always thought we would have to fight and work hard for everything. We never thought we would get to play in the ACB, we never thought we would get to play so many years in the NBA.
"So we simply continued to work and grab our chances and to be playing for the national team together and winning EuroBasket is more than a dream.
"I am extremely proud of all my teammates, of my coaching staff and the whole of the Spanish federation from the top to the bottom. We deserve this goal medal."
This tournament marked a third successive appearance at EuroBasket for Hernangomez and being crowned MVP was symbolic of the significant rise of his importance - becoming a leader the team needed.
2015: 3.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.7 minutes per game
2017: 7.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game
2022: 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game
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Hernangomez was a model of consistency throughout the campaign for Spain and had a 27-point explosion in the Quarter-Final comeback against Finland as they won from 15 points down.
"The way that we have grown throughout this tournament was amazing. And the trust that was inside the locker room was something special. I'm lucky to be around those guys because they trusted me from the beginning."
In the Final, it was his younger brother Juancho who matched that 27-point outing with a scintillating shooting display with seven three-pointers to earn the TCL Player of the Game award and they were joined on the court by their family in the post-game celebrations.
"I'm extremely proud of the way my brother grew through the tournament. We trusted him from the beginning. I knew that he would let the game come to him. We needed him today and he was there ready for us. It was Juancho, but no Bo Cruz today."
Willy Hernangomez becomes the seventh Spanish player to win the EuroBasket MVP award following Pau Gasol (2009 and 2015), Juan Carlos Navarro (2011), Juan Antonio Corbalan (1983), Wayne Brabender (1973), Emiliano Rodriguez (1963) and Rafael Martin (1935).