While Marc Gasol is defoliating the margarita of Her future After leaving the Lakers first and after the Grizzlies, the option to return to Catalonia to compete in Bàsquet Girona, the club that he presides over with the ambition of bearing the name of the city and wearing the motto pride gironí everywhere, above all sponsor.
The main sponsors of the club are CaixaBank, Noel, Estrella Damm, YoSoy, FIATC and Kave Home, but none appear on the team’s shirt because the entity prefers to wear the Gironí pride motto, evidencing its illusion of taking root in the territory and that the people from the demarcation identify with the project and feel it theirs. In fact, one of the great goals of the club lies in “putting in value the talent at home, so that the players do not have to go to Barça, La Penya or Manresa” and in “creating a brand and claiming Girona, they recognize from the entity.
The 36-year-old Catalan pivot, NBA champion with the Toronto Raptors in 2019 and who spent 13 seasons in the North American league, founded the club in 2014, under the name of Club Escola de Bàsquet Marc Gasol, and now, seven years later, the first team is preparing, under the tutelage of Carles Marco, for which It will be his second year in the LEB Oro, and the first with an audience in the stands of Fontajau, the pavilion that he shares with Uni Girona, current champion of the Queen’s Cup.
The medium-long-term goal is to make the leap to the ACB, but today the priority is, according to the club’s admission, “to be sustainable in order to consolidate. To grow little by little, without wanting to overrun.” “As in a company, the first thing is to be sustainable. Then the rest will come. The sports part is very very important, but the others too”, they underline. “Marc always says that you have to enjoy the moment. And the moment of Bàsquet Girona is very beautiful”, they add from the Catalan entity.
In Girona the sad outcome of Akasvayu Girona is still very present, which in 2008 said goodbye to the elite after three happy and exciting courses for the Fontajau pavilion, used to pursuing more modest goals. In May 2005, the agreement between the Girona Basketball Club, now defunct, and the Akasvayu real estate agency became official, which promised “stars and titles” and brought players from the category of Raül López, Fran Vázquez, Roberto Dueñas, Ariel to Girona McDonald, Gregor Fucka, Víctor Sada, or Marc himself, MVP of the ACB League for the 2007-08 season, among others.
In the previous year (06-07), under the orders of Svetislav Pesic, the club achieved its greatest success by conquering the FIBA EuroChallenge, but the happy days ended in 2008, with the dissolution of the sports corporation due to debts of 6, 5 million euros and the end of 20 courses of uninterrupted presence of the city in the ACB. However, the two seasons he spent in Girona were so important for Marc in sports and personal matters that they lit up a very special relationship between the player and the city. “He feels like one more gironí”, they certify from the club.
“His commitment and his link with the club is total. He is not limited to putting money or marking the lines of the project from a distance. He is 100% involved in the day to day and in all areas, not just sports. It is the promoter and the leader, the director. Be it here or at some Games “, they add from Fontajau. He also has the support of his brother Pau, who holds the position of vice president and also participates in meetings.
The club, which has not become SAD because in LEB Oro it is not mandatory, was born from the foundations, being first a grassroots club, and today it already has more than 20 teams, including a top-level 3×3, with approximately 250 players of all ages and 1,300 members.