Trophies in the air with which to recognize the sporting feat, feet with the word champions immortalizing an image for history or bottles of cava with which to highlight the joy are usually some of the most common images during the first minutes after conquering any promotion. to the Endesa League.
The first steps of a celebration routine that, beyond the party itself, usually have one of its most reflective moments after a few minutes, when the players of the winning team lock themselves up, without cameras, inside the locker room. There, the first phone calls to family and friends or the first messages from old colleagues often provoke the first emotional reactions of the night. Those that are no longer the result of competitive emotion but rather of those personal stories that begin to emerge again in his mind after a campaign of sacrifices and efforts.
Stories that, in the case of the Girona dressing room, came to directly touch nine of its protagonists, settling pending accounts with their promotion with a past that had managed to put them to the test.
The 9 stories of Bàsquet Girona:
1 – Txemi Urtasun: The infallible man of the Final Four
The name of Txemi Urtasun was the last to join the Bàsquet Girona squad just as the winter transfer window was drawing to a close. A player from the Endesa League and who was an insurance bet for the sports management of the Girona team. And even more so if we take into account how the season has been resolved during a year in which Txemi Urtasun has ended up contesting the third Final Four of his career. An event that has led him to be the player with the highest number of Final Fours played throughout history with 3/4 (75%) as well as the man with the highest number of promotions in them since, since last week, Txemi Urtasun is the only player who has been able to complete two promotions to the Endesa League under this format… Will it happen again in the future?
2 – Max Fjellerup: From descent to promotion in just a few weeks…
He began the season at Palmer Alma Mediterránea and finished it at Bàsquet Girona after committing to the team from Girona in mid-January. A transaction that has led the Argentine Max Fjellerup to be in the same season in one of the three teams that has descended from the LEB Gold League to the LEB Silver League and, in turn, in one of the two teams that has achieved the promotion from the LEB Oro League to the Endesa League. Quite a “from less to more” that has allowed him to make up for an irregular start to the campaign by becoming one of the fundamental men of the rise of Girona. Because his leading role in the Final Four, together with his leading scorer in the final, was key to being able to solve the two games played in favor of his team. And it is that in Girona more than one will think that of… How good that you came!
3 – Albert Sabat: The player dreamed by an infallible native
He had achieved four consecutive promotions to the Endesa League between 2012 and 2015, earning a certain fame as the infallible base of the competition, but since then, Albert Sàbat’s paths had followed very different paths (read report). First with 4 consecutive seasons in the Endesa League and, years later, with his return to Girona to play the LEB Plata with his current team. A time in which Albert’s challenge was to be able to recover his status as a “promotion man” in order to contribute to the reconstruction of basketball in the city, a path that he resumed two years ago with the jump of the team from LEB Plata to LEB Oro. and that put an interesting challenge in his way. Would he be able to achieve promotion to the Endesa League again? The answer was not long in coming and, two years later, in the Final Four played in Fontajau, Albert did not fail in his traditional idyll with promotion in order to complete the reconquest. Or did someone doubt the effectiveness of Sàbat in the fight for promotion?
4-Eric Vila: The authentic graduation of the student from Girona
He had entered the ACB at just 16 years of age to become the youngest player in the history of the Blaugrana team. A real promise of national training basketball who, however, decided to park the projection of him in our territory to start a university training stage in the United States. A path with which he postponed the signing of what would have been his first professional contract at the Palau Blaugrana and that led him to cross the pond to experience first-hand an NCAA in which he even faced a change of university. A year without playing derived from American regulations and that had its replica last year as an injury. In this way, the 2021/22 season became the great opportunity for an Eric Vila who returned to Spain willing to demonstrate the maturity acquired in North American territory to definitively leave his injury behind. A complete wish fulfilled on the slopes of the LEB Oro and that ended up leading to the dream outcome of a promotion to the Endesa League in which he has played a leading role to be able to once again promote the project of his city. Because if you had to go back… What better place to do it than at home?
8- Karamo Jawara: The celebration of a promotion… live!
It was clear, from the moment of his signing, that Karamo Jawara was going to be one of the main reference men of Bàsquet Girona, but what the Norwegian player himself might not have imagined is that this year he was going to end up winning his second promotion to the Endesa League. Of course, do not look for images of the first on Google or through social networks since Karamo went down in history as one of the members of that class of 2020, which a global pandemic forced to celebrate his rise telematically. An unusual event that may never be repeated in history, but which marked his jump in category with Acunsa Gipuzkoa two years ago. But don’t worry because Karamo collected the pending debt by being one of the MVPs of the Girona celebration… Basketball owed him!
24 – Josep Franch: The challenge initiated by Gatell in the return campaign
This course Josep Franch returned to national basketball after two seasons in French territory and he did so with the priority objective of being able to recover his prestigious position in the LEB Gold League. A real challenge that led him to perform at a high level from the beginning and that was launching new órdagos to the Catalan base with the course of the season. One of the most important, with the promotion of Covirán Granada to the Endesa League as League champion. The reason? That his first and only promotion to the Endesa League had come along with one of the members of that squad. An Edu Gatell with whom he shared a dressing room in that Melilla Basketball that reigned in the 2016 Playoffs and that now achieved his second personal promotion. A league title with which Gatell sent Franch the pressure of being able to keep his joint idyll alive by rising once again the same season. And Josep Franch did not fail either!
33- Marc Gasol: From rings and world titles… to promotion!
Who was going to tell a player with an NBA ring in his record, two titles as European champion, two World titles and two Olympic medals that, at this point in his career, he was going to celebrate a promotion in the LEB Gold League as one of the most exciting titles of his career. But the reality experienced this season in Girona-Fontajau has ended up surpassing any of the scripts that could have been written around the figure of Marc Gasol and his arrival in the competition. A president who went down to the slopes to fulfill his desire to be able to return Girona to the place it deserved due to its history and who has ended up leading a promotion on the parquet that seemed really far away when he arrived. Without a doubt, the great personal story of all those lived within a locker room in which he has served as his great media focus from the outside, but in which his success has been based on being one more within a squad who has known how to make the most of his minutes on court… A legendary story for the LEB Gold League!
35- Jaime Sorolla: Double promotion, to break into the elite
Just 386 days! That is the time that center Jaume Sorolla has needed to win two consecutive promotions with which to go from the LEB Plata League to the Endesa League. Quite a sporting feat that began last year when the center from Tortosa was able to complete his second season at FC Barcelona with promotion. A success that came after finishing the Playoffs of the LEB Silver League with a win against Zornotza ST that meant the promotion of the Blaugranas to the LEB Gold League. A good year that meant their jump in category to join the Bàsquet Girona project with which the positive events have not stopped happening. First with the debut in the LEB Oro and then with the arrival of Marc Gasol to face a whole master’s degree in Fontajau. The fight for promotion and the subsequent conquest of it have made Jaume the only player who, during the last two seasons, has been able to reach the elite with two consecutive category jumps… Almost nothing!
77- Gerard Sevillano: The triumph of the silent captain
He worked alongside Albert Sàbat as the oldest player in a dressing room he arrived in the summer of 2019 and, at that time, Gerard Sevillano had been the protagonist of all the historical moments experienced by the club. From the dispute of the first LEB Plata Cup final to the promotion to the LEB Oro League that allowed him to return to the competition six years later. A whole debt paid off personally and whose high point was yet to come in a 2021/22 campaign in which he shared the captaincy with Albert. A year in which this silent leader of the locker room has known how to earn playing time on the court in order to be one of the key men in a promotion… Really deserved for Gerard!