ANDl Malaga collegiate, Daniel Hierrezuelo, achieved a milestone that places him in the history of the ACB. The Breogán-Lugo was his match 900 in the highest category of Spanish basketball, placing second in the ranking led by the director of arbitration of the ACB, Martín Bertrán. “It is not my goal or my objective to surpass Martín Bertrán, I want to continue learning every day”, he explains.
Hierrezuelo reviewed his career and the refereeing profession in ‘El Programa de Ortega’ together with Vicente Ortega and Carlos Santos. “Refereeing is my devotion, my profession and my way of enjoying basketball every day”, he explained when recalling his more than 25 years of experience. “I started as a goalkeeper in the lower categories of Malaga, but I felt like making a change and I started playing basketball. My sister Lidia was the one who gave me the arbitration bug. I have never felt the time to give it all up. I have had difficult times , but the happy ones are more decisive”, he recalled.
During the talk, the man from Malaga told numerous anecdotes that he has lived for more than two decades on the Spanish courts and that marked his career. “I remember that in my first game in Gijón I heard in the stands: “Hierrezuelo, you’re destroying Spanish arbitration” and I was amazed, In Manresa a fan told me years ago that whistling is easier than saying my last name,” he said.
Behind them, ACB finals, Cup finals, Euroleague Final Four, Classics and many games and players to remember. “I’ve been lucky enough to referee Sabonis, Kirilenko, Jordan, Lebron, Epi, Pau Gasol in the Malaga final…and I’ve been lucky enough to see many great players grow up who will now think ‘let’s see when the cabr… this'”, he joked, but he has a very bad memory of the months of pandemic and empty courts. “Whistling without an audience is one of the worst experiences I’ve had in my life and I hope it never happens again. We are an example worldwide in terms of the atmosphere in basketball,” he said.
Hierrezuelo also spoke about the refereeing profession: “We referees have a very exhaustive job, we do scouting of each game and professional work that has helped us. There is a list of very good young referees in ACB. Star referees don’t make much sense anymore, you need good teamwork.” he explained. And she referred to two current issues, technology in arbitration: “Technology has helped us a lot, it is a basic tool when applied well” and about the threats received by the president of the CTA, Luis Medina Cantalejo. “I know Medina Cantalejo, I was talking to him and showing him our support. I cannot understand that in a sport such extremes are reached with such unreason. Sport must be enjoyed,” he concluded.