The 1980 Spanish basketball season has something unique that is now in the public domain. This was the year that the so-called golden juniors’ were born, a probably unrepeatable group that included Felipe Reyes, Juan Carlos Navarro and Raul Lopez. They took away the complexes associated with rennet to basket sports in this country.
Perhaps less well-known is the fact that Granada basketball also saw a great harvest in 1980. Granada has produced a remarkable vintage in physical strength, something that has never been seen in this region. It also has the quality to make the Andalusian and national team's faces stand out as rarely before. Hector Manzano and David Mesa, who were its two exponents, went on to have a remarkable professional career, something that is rare for their local peers.
They were both born in Motril. The second one grew from 14 years old to nearly ten centimeters a year, to reach well over two meters. He was trained from the base as an outfield player and ended up using his talent and his extraordinary physique to win the beans with orange balls. He was actually able to participate in the 2001 Under-20 World Cup (Saitama, Japan) with Jose Manuel Calderon and Carlos Cabezas. There is nothing. Spain finished fifth in that same city, where they would be absolute world champions five years later.
Hector Manzano continues to be involved in basketball today, even though he is far from Granada. He lived his dream and ended up putting the brakes on his career in 2018. He regrets, "I was going for another year in Ourense. But my back was already very painful and I had to leave it." He settled in the northwest corner of Madrid from that point on. Particularly in Torrelodones, he became part of one the most successful entities of the national quarry.
He settled down there with his family and just finished his fourth season at "a club which works very well with players." As a young man, the Motrileno was surprised at how much he enjoyed working with them. He says that although his original idea was more about professionalism, he has been captivated by the training and is happy with what he does. However, he doesn't hide the fact that he would be willing to pack up and move once again in search of a better job. He is certain that she lives in Madrid while she arrives.
Manzano explains that CBTorrelodones has been "practically always one of the four best Madrid teams, both at the female and male levels." He also spoke out about the modern working methods. He says that they have nothing to do with what he saw in his body when he was required to wear professional clothes almost every day to participate in that miracle promotion. From CB Granada in 2001 to ACB in 2002. He says that the demands of being a professional now are 13- or 14-year olds. He explains that there are "kids who go to technical training at 8 am and then go to school. Others do it after classes after having eaten with a 'tuper.' All of this, in addition to collective training, and, of course to a "specific, physical preparation with several weeks sessions", as well as other "health services like a psychologist and physiotherapists, and physical trainers". The man from Granada concludes that what was seen previously in professionals, but not all teams, can now be seen in the training stages to be better prepared for the crucial moment.
Manzano is compelled to believe that it could have happened with a different working method than the one he currently uses. He longs to think of what would have been if he had received this type of training as a young man. He has come to realize that he should have done more work on his training and that "reaching the elite almost instantly" didn't help him much. He values the "number of injuries" he has suffered in his career and says that it is a balance that he believes is good because he was able to play for so many years.
Hector Manzano was able to fit several promotions to the ACB in his backpack. This includes the one the ACB team from his country is currently experiencing. He was an unexpected protagonist in the 2001 home experience. He matured and then returned to Melilla in 2016, where he lived in two stages. This is the second most populous place after Granada. The jump did not happen in the office. He admits that it was disappointing, but not surprising, as we had anticipated it.
He has been forced to watch from the sidelines, and at the expense of Coviran this year. He says that he has "logically followed the evolution" of the club. He points out that "from outside, you see a lot more consistency, and since they rose form Plata, you noticed that it was a winning team that had been moving along a good path," which has been ratified in this exercise. He said that although Estudiantes was the favorite, Coviran's first position is fully deserved because of the consistency it displayed throughout the season.
Manzano says that although the jump is huge, he has a new outlook: "Players who perform well at LEB can also be in ACB," he says. He was there when it happened. He did it, though perhaps too quickly. It was a long and intense career that he will never forget. He closes his remarks with a smile.