Tuesday, October 19

Golden State Warriors: Mexican Juan Toscano earns a spot in the NBA

Juan Toscano celebrates a point during a Golden State Warriors game on May 10.
Juan Toscano celebrates a point during a Golden State Warriors game on May 10.EZRA SHAW / AFP

Juan Toscano (Oakland, California, 28 years old) is no longer the Warriors intern. The Mexican-American has signed a fixed contract in the NBA this Thursday. Toscano’s bustle has been difficult to reach the elite levels of basketball. After playing at the university level, his talent, hidden at the time, did not raise the alerts of the recruiters. Six years later, he shares a dressing room with triple specialist Stephen Curry.

The Mexican, after almost two years in the Warriors, already feels at home with an average of 5.5 points, 4.3 rebounds. In the current season he has started in 15 games. “He deserves every penny,” wrote his partner Damion Lee on Twitter. “Juan has jumped all over the world playing basketball. Our fans love him, we love him as a coaching staff. The guy plays with great energy, he’s smart and he’s hard to beat, ”Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the now nicknamed Juan T.

Toscano, with triple nationality, was able to perform in children’s basketball in Oakland. The greatest coincidence of his life was when he found out that one of his teachers was the wife of Al Attles, one of the Warriors’ historicals. Little Toscano went to one of the basketball camps. From there nothing stopped him until he came to represent Marquette Milwaukee University in Wisconsin in 2011. During four years he played 121 games with an average of 8.3 points. Despite that, he found no place.

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Mexico entered Toscano’s life to save him. The strategist of the Mexican basketball team, the Spanish Sergio Valdeolmillos, recruited him. It was the great opportunity for Juan Toscano Anderson to shine. From there he received his first contract as a professional player with the Soles de Mexicali, a Mexican League team. His true romance was when Fuerza Regia hired him and where he could be champion twice (2016-17 and 2018-19).

And yet Toscano was not so satisfied. I wanted to be in the NBA. That is why in 2019 he decided to try himself in the Warriors subsidiary team, Santa Cruz. After a series of slights, the Mexican insisted on earning a place despite not being called up to the first team immediately. Patience was key. 2020 was Toscano’s moment. Coach Steve Kerr made him debut in a game against LeBron James’ Lakers. The best possible scenario for a 26-year-old late rookie. After that great event came the covid-19 pandemic. The health emergency ended Golden State’s campaign and by December the team began cutting staff. One of them was Toscano.

The player, hardened by bad news, received a call from the Warriors offices. They had repented. They offered him a contract called two days (two ways) in which he belonged and could play in the subsidiary and in the first team. The Mexican forward did not waste the opportunity until almost halfway through 2021 he managed to sign his definitive, multi-year contract. “He’s improved his ability now as a passer and thrower,” Kerr said. At the Chase Center, home of the Warriors, no one celebrates his teammates’ triples more than Juan Toscano, the boy who refuses to leave his place in the NBA.

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