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Super-Epi, the great king of the Palau Blaugrana

Chosen by the prestigious L’Equipe What best european player of the eighties, Juan Antonio San Epifanio (6-12-1959), Super EpiHe was the king of the Palau, the most recognizable Barça leader in history who challenged and overthrew Petrovic and Fernando Martín’s Real Madrid; So what only crashed into Jugoplastika in the old European Cup. Epi was also the forward who raised the country in its 239 caps and who belonged to the Díaz Miguel National Team that turned basketball into a mass sport in Spain. His trilogy of magical matches with the National Team is this: “The final of the 1983 Eurobasket (Spain-Italy), the 1984 Olympic final in Los Angeles, and the Spain-United States of the 1982 World Cup in Cali). We were a triumphant generation at a time when team sport in Spain did not have great successes. The Olympic silver in Los Angeles gave such an illusion that it multiplied the practitioners and supporters of basketball “, reflects Epi, who now enters the Hall of Fame of Spanish basketball, which will celebrate its gala on October 21, at the La Cartuja stadium (Seville).

“For me, entering the Hall of Fame is an honor and recognition of so many years of dedication to something that I am passionate about and that has filled many of the best moments of my life. The values ​​that I see that a member of such a room are those of improvement, dedication and teamwork “, the player counts on his income Born in Zaragoza and sponsored by Ranko Zeravica upon arrival in Barcelona.

An Epi of these days, cunning in the exit of the blocks, infallible in the launch, would have had a place in the best competition in the world. Although he was very happy at Barça, where his shirt hangs from the Palau and he still goes to see the Catalans every game, crossing the pond would have been a dream: “In my time, the NBA seemed very far away. Today, everything is closer, it is a global world. The networks, mobility, television and even money, make it much more attractive than then. I would have liked to try how far could I have gone … “.

In Europe it touched the sky. Not only was he voted best basketball player of the decade for L’Equipe, he was also chosen among the 50 best of all time by FIBA. Won almost everything: Leagues, Cups, Korac and Recopas to teams as powerful as the Zalgiris de Sabonis. But the European Cup always resisted … the damn Jugoplastika. “It was my great illusion always, but fate is sometimes capricious and does not let you get what you want the most. But I had many triumphs and I enjoyed all of them.“.

Player with the most caps until Navarro surpassed him (“For 23 years I was the player with the most; I knew that someone would surpass me one day, and I also knew that whoever did it would have to be someone who would mark a glorious era in national basketball”), Epi sees good health in our basketball despite the transition period: “Spain continues to work on the right track and young people will continue to be at a high level in the future”.

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