7,000 fans gathered at WiZink Center to congratulate the Spanish NT for its 4th gold medal in 13 years.

Credit: Baloncesto Espana
Credit Baloncesto Espana

The least expected parties are usually the best. Little did one think that the Spanish national team would return from FIBA EuroBasket 2022 with gold medals hanging around their necks.

Around 7,000 fans gathered at WiZink Center in Madrid to congratulate the new European champions.

"We are European champs again," said coach Sergio Scariolo after the presentation of the entire team with pyrotechnic and visual effects.

"Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something. If you want something, go for it," added the Italian mastermind.

Team captain Rudy Fernandez, who appeared on the winners' stage with a trophy in his hands, was the first of the players to take the floor and thank the coaching staff and his teammates for this historic journey.

"These guys made me believe that we could get it [title] and enjoy it like we were 20 years old," he exclaimed.

For his part, EuroBasket's MVP Willy Hernangomez praised Scariolo for his never-give-up mentality and how the coach managed to use player's strength on the court.

Willy's brother, Juancho Hernangomez, who was the go-to guy in the final by converting 7 triples and scoring 27 points, made a reference to his acting in Adam Sandler's movie Hustle.

"Sometimes life can seem like a movie and I've been in one of them. But this one is much better. This is the real one," Juancho said in front of a crowd.

The famous song Sweet Caroline accompanied the Spanish fiesta further on, while the party was completed with confetti and many photos with the fans.

Later on, Sergio Scariolo, Jorge Garbajosa (Spanish Basketball Federation president), and some players found extra time to talk to the media at the Melia Castilla hotel and reflect on the importance of success.

"It's very rare that before a top-level competition a team is placed in 8th place in the power rankings and later reaches 1st spot in the tournament. From time to time it happens," Scariolo stressed the uncommon achievement.

"I think it has not only been one of the greatest feats of Spanish basketball but of Spanish sport. It is a happy day," Garbajosa went on to highlight the importance of a victory.

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