Regal FC Barcelona finalized one of the biggest roster moves of the summer Tuesday with the announcement that 18-year-old point guard Ricky Rubio, considered to be among world basketball's brightest young stars, has agreed to a six-year deal with the club. The agreement between the teen sensation and one of the world's best-known sports clubs closes perhaps the most-watched summer story on the global player market. Rubio moves to Barcelona from nearby DKV Joventut, where he played sparingly in the Euroleague last season due to injury. However, he was able to finish 25 games in the Spanish League, where he averaged 9.8 points, 5.8 assists and 2.2 steals. As one of the youngest players ever to star in professional basketball, and the winner of a silver medal with the Spanish national team at the 2008 Olympic Games, Rubio has enjoyed notoriety since his early teens. His short career already includes two European trophies and the much-prized national cup in Spain.
Rubio first made headlines when he debuted as a pro in the Spanish League at age 14. He stepped on a Euroleague court for the first time three days after his 16th birthday, showing outstanding maturity and defensive skills. Playing for Joventut during the 2006-07 season, Rubio averaged 3.6 points, 2.8 assists and a league-best 3.2 steals while helping the team reach the Top 16, its highest placing in Europe's elite competition for more than a decade. The following season, Rubio was a major contributor to even more success as Joventut won both the ULEB Cup and the Spanish King's Cup titles. Rubio had also lifted the FIBA EuroCup trophy in 2006 with Joventut. A regular member of Spanish national teams, Rubio achieved worldwide recognition at age 17, as Spain's starting point guard in the 2008 Olympic title game against the United States in Beijing, China. Previously, Rubio had led Spain to gold at the 2006 Under-16 European Championships with a legendary performance in the final against Russia: 51 points, 24 rebounds and 12 assists in a 110-106 double-overtime win that included his buzzer-beating half-court three-pointer at the end of regulation. Already a basketball icon in Europe, Rubio will now continue his career in his home country and look to add a Euroleague title to his impressive résumé.