If you have been following the main youth international tournaments, there’s a good chance that you have heard of a kid named Sergio De Larrea. Originally from San Agustin, Spain, Sergio is one of the purest talents of his generation, someone who has basketball in his DNA and the type of player who makes watching youth games fun while being extremely efficient and effective. After strong showings at Belgrade’s ANGT and Basketball Without Borders, we decided to interview him for you.

 1. When did you approach the game of basketball? What made you fall in love with the game?

A long time ago, around the age of 4. My basketball-loving parents took me to see my first basketball game in my hometown and that’s when, thanks to them, I decided to approach the game and try. Over the years my love for this sport grew exponentially, I must admit I’m pleasantly surprised by how much the game means to me, I can’t put it into words. I love the values that it transmits, the friendships that you build along the way, the emotions, and the hard work.

2. You were selected to participate in BWB. What was that experience like? Among all things, is there something you learned from NBA players that you would like to share?

It was an unforgettable experience. The whole environment around us, the staff members, and the teammates were amazing. If I had to pick one memory, it would be the combination of on and off-court activities. Everything we learned is perhaps different from the European model of training, a lot of emphases is put on details that are not given so much importance in Spain.

The daily routine we had made me experience a different way to approach the game and gave me a hint of what it takes to play at a high level. The sacrifices you must make if you want to play among some of the best players in the world, but also how to deal with unfavorable situations. 

3. Your style of play is so fun that I wish coaches never subbed you out. What is your mindset when you step on the court?

Well, my priority is to follow the coaching staff’s instructions, execute our game plan and do whatever the team needs. No matter the assignment, I try to do my best relying on my skills and instincts. 

4. What parts of your game do you feel come very naturally to you? What aspects would you like to improve?

I feel comfortable reading the court and understanding different moments of the game. I like to find easy shots for my teammates and myself, I want to make sure everyone on the team is involved. I feel like I do a good job of controlling the tempo and identifying areas where we could have advantages or mismatches.

Surely, I would like to improve my body and my defense. Moreover, I need to continue improving my shooting as well as other aspects that could help me take the next step in my development.

5. What are your future goals?

In the short term, my goal is to finish my studies next year and then plan my academic future while I hope to continue with my sports career. If everything goes well, I hope to become a professional player and have the chance to measure my abilities against the best in the business, I want to keep progressing in both my personal life and sports career.

6. What are your hobbies?

My main hobby is spending time with the people I love. This means my friends and family; I want to enjoy my time with them as much as possible. I also love sports in general, and I like to play or practice any of them. From tennis to water sports, to volleyball, these are just some that come to mind.

Being at the beach with my friends or family is my ideal plan for a day off, days off are rare but I try to make the most out of them when they happen. 

I also like to watch interesting series and movies.

7. Who are your role models and why?

The players that have the most influence on me and the ones that I study are mainly playmakers.

Among them, is Luka Doncic. I’ve been watching him ever since I was a child basically. His IQ and feel for the game fascinated me, the way he played in Europe at such a young age is incredible. Another player is Sergio Rodriguez; he’s an amazing passer, he puts players in a position to score easily thanks to his vision. I also admire how he leads the team and controls the game. Another one is Ricky Rubio, another Spaniard whose game style is spectacular. He had to overcome multiple obstacles that made him stronger, and he was able to improve his game despite all adversities, he knows what is happening on the court at any given time.