Twenty years ago, on Sunday December 3rd, 1989, Real Madrid center Fernando Martín died in a car crash in Madrid while driving to the arena. He was 27 years old at the moment. That evening, his team had to play a Liga ACB match versus CAI Zaragoza.
Martín, who was also a member of Spain´s National Team, was the first Spanish players to make the NBA, spending one whole season (1986-87) with the Portland Trail Blazers after being selected in the 1985 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets in second round ( #38 overall pick), but his career had started in Estudiantes before moving to neighbour and arch-rival Real Madrid, where he became one of the best players in Europe.
The ACB will remember the late Martín this Saturday, when Real Madrid hosts Power Electronics Valencia, calling a time out in his honor in minute 10 of the game (Martín always wore #10 jersey in Real Madrid, Portland and Spain). After his death, Real Madrid retired number 10.
Eduardo Portela, President of ACB, said about him: "Fernando Martín was a symbol, a reference, a myth. He left us two decades ago, but his memory will always be with us."