By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Rudy Fernandez is 37 years old, but he is not ready to step down yet from the Spanish national team. Not only because he remains a valuable member, having won two World Cup titles and three Eurobaskets, but also because he is now the de facto flag bearer of the Spanish Armada.
On Saturday he surpassed Juan Antonio San Epifanio, having played 240 games with the Spanish national team, and chases Juan Carlos Navarro who holds the record with 253 games.
With seven games left in the tournament if Spain makes it to the final, Rudy can break the record in next year’s World Cup. However, as he explained to FIBA official site, his motivation for playing with the national team is much simpler: “Wearing this jersey. For me every summer is motivation to prepare for any tournament we play in with the national team”.
After all, at this point in his career, he knows that his role is different and he is also aware that he needs to be careful with his body: “When I jump, I’m not the same guy I was in the past. So I try to do my best and prepare my body for a long season. The regular season has a lot of games. After that, I play in the summer with the national team. It’s a lot of games for my body”.
And he needs also to manage his life as a family man, even if the national team – dubbed La Famiglia by the federation – is also a kind of family for him: “In the beginning, my son didn’t like basketball because I travel a lot. It meant that when daddy goes to play basketball, he leaves. But now he likes it. I’m happy about that.”It’s tough because I love my family. I love to stay with them. But it’s an opportunity to play with these guys – my other family. They are my kids now”.