After the first play-off match, against Perfumerías Avenida, in the first match in which masks were not necessary and with the best start of the entire season, the long-awaited tribute to Naiara Díez began. Earlier during the match, familiar faces of former Lointek Gernika players were seen, such as Izaskun García, Julie Wojta, Ivanovic, Yaiza Lázaro and Juana Molina, among others, or the ACB referee Juan Carlos García himself, who wanted to come specifically to the match and to tribute.
Along with some of the most significant trophies that Díez herself helped win and even lifted, Gernika KESB president Gerardo Candina presented Naiara Díez with the 25th anniversary trophy in the central circle of a pavilion that was erected to applaud the Altsasu player. Also exciting when her grandparents and her mistress gave her a painting that immortalized one of those moments in which Nai received the affection of the stands.
The emotion continued to grow with the broadcast of the words of some of her teammates in these 8 years, such as Juana Molina, Blake Dietrich, Nogaye Lo or Iulene Olabarria with whom she shared a rivalry with the IDK and a dressing room with the Euskadi team. A bertso by Mikelo Retolaza gave Maloste goosebumps.
After that moment, the culmination was missing, the withdrawal of Naiara Díez’s shirt. Hanging next to the main marker of Maloste to be an example of the work and effort to reach the top. Those in charge of discovering it were the captain who took over, Judith Monasterio, and the one who took over, Belén Arrojo.
From then on, Naiara Díez took the microphone to thank the club and fans for the love of all these years and acknowledge that she feels like just another Gernikarra, even in the way she speaks Basque.
Present throughout the event were the staff of Perfumerías Avenida and colleagues and rivals who wanted to show their respect for the career of the Navarrese player in this way.
Naiara Díez, the great captain who led Lointek Gernika to promotion to the Women’s League and who guided it for 7 years to the highest state competition, the EuroCup, the Queen’s Cups and the Super Cup final. She left us her imprint and professionalism on the court and her smile and affection off the court.
Eskerrrik asko Nai!