Spanish star Ricky Rubio is one of the most talked about names heading into Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Who is this guy? Here are some facts about Ricky Rubio.
Scouts have compared Rubio to Drazen Petrovic and Pete Maravich. Scouts rate his ballhandling, shooting and court awareness as A or above and his mortality as C-minus or below.
Despite his early success in basketball, Rubio’s parents did not allow him to be interviewed until he played for Spain in the 2008 Olympics as 17 year-old. It was then that Rubio was able to make his thoughts known both verbally and non-verbally.
At the 2008 Olympics, Rubio became the youngest player to ever appear in an Olympic basketball final, seeing action in his team’s 118-107 loss to the United States. Burned in the past by Spanish speakers, some scouts believe Rubio may actually be in his mid- to late-40s.
Rubio is a terrific defender who won the 2009 Spanish ACB League Defensive Player of the Year award. Rubio is skilled at stealing the ball and even more valued in the Spanish league, has shown a flopping ability far beyond his years. He is even able to stop his heart on command, faking death, in order to draw a penalty on the slightest contact.
Rubio’s given name is Ricard Rubio Vives, but he goes by Ricky Rubio. It is thought that he would be a mid- to late-second round pick if he went by the name Dick Rubio.