”The sky’s the limit.”
Aday Mara has started with the outline of a possible jump to the NBA after participating in the All-Star with the ‘Basketball Without Borders’ project. Spanish star as one of the best young players on the planet in front of scouts from all franchises.
Aday, 17 years old and 2.20 meters tall, was selected as one of the 12 best players of this event organized by FIBA and the NBA. and ended it with a smile from ear to ear after the experience lived during the whole weekend.
Despite this great experience, Mara regretted that she was unable to follow the course of the Copa del Rey basketball tournament: “I’m going to download all the games and watch them on the flights back to Spain.”He told Spanish journalists present after the ceremony.
Chris Ebersole, NBA Director of International Basketball Operationshas been coordinating this campus for years and knows Mara well: “I think he has a great chance to make it in the NBA. Many teams already follow him and have a good impression about him. In 2015 we had Lauri Markkanen and Jamal Murray and we didn’t know they could become NBA stars. He’s on that path of being able to play in the U.S. and make a big impact with his future team,” he said.
Ebersole confirmed the great experience lived by Mara during these three days: “I think they have been very positive days for him. He’s obviously a very special player, with unique fundamentals for someone that size. He’s much more than just a tall guy.”he explained.
Chris mentioned the quality of the Spanish player: “He is a good passer, he has vision, it’s not just about his height. These three days allow him to compete against the best in the world. He also gains confidence and thinks he can be among the best. It broadens his progression outside his comfort zone, in other languages…”.
In addition, Ebersole indicated that it is very important for Aday to adapt his height to the NBA game: ”Defensively, because of his height, he is a guarantee near the rim. But in today’s NBA they are going to demand more mobility from him. It is always complicated for such tall players, at any level, but he has already shown that he can improve a lot in that area as well. To me, the sky’s the limit for him.”
Casademont Zaragoza center said to have improved his English, but to get around the language barrier. he turned to Mexican player Jesús Santiago Ochoa.who he joined during these days in order to understand everything that the coaches and opponents indicated.
Ochoa has thus become friends with someone he had already been following since before. “I knew him from watching him on the internet. Since Aday didn’t know that much English, he would ask me. He played us in the same team, we played together and I think we understood each other very well. I always tried to help him when he asked me what to do,” he said.
In addition, Ochoa praised the Spanish athlete: “I play point guard and I got to do a lot of pick and roll with him. He surprised me when he passed it to him, whether it was over or under. With someone that tall, the easiest thing to do is to pass it over the top, but I could also pass it to Aday and he would catch it without a problem. Besides, if you get a ball inside, you’re sure to get an assist,” he stressed.