Pau Gasol was named the Most Valuable Player of EuroBasket 2015, having led Spain to an 80-63 Gold Medal victory Sunday night against Lithuania.
The big fella finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
Pau Gasol, who turned 35 in July, averaged 25.5 points on 57.5% shooting with 8.8 rebounds in 9 EuroBasket games.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 20, 2015
Gasol carried a heavy load, as Spain won their third EuroBasket title in seven years, and earned an Olympic bid despite the absence of Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Ricky Rubio.
From the tourney website:
The 35-year-old Chicago Bulls star had produced one of the great tournament performances in Berlin and then Lille, averaging 25.6 points-per-game and 8.8 rebounds as he inspired a Spanish side missing several of its stars. […] As well as going for 25 points and 12 rebounds in the final to win his third EuroBasket title, his campaign will be remembered for a 6-of-7 three-point shooting performance against Poland and an incredible 40-point showing in the semi-final against hosts and tournament favourites, France.
It is the second time Gasol has been named as the competition’s outstanding player, after Poland in 2009, and the third time he has topped the scoring charts.
“I think it has special meaning and significance for sure,” the freshly crowned champion expressed to media soon after receiving the MVP award. “To be able to play at this level at this point in my career, after all I’ve accomplished and this team has accomplished, it’s something I’ll always be proud of. […] I love to play. I love this game, I have a big passion for this game and playing for Spain is something really special, something that I really enjoy and I think it’s very noticeable. It is something that I really enjoy and I think that it allows me to make other people happy in the process and gives me the opportunities to do something beyond basketball and beyond sport, which is something I enjoy and appreciate.”