Juan Alberto Espil
Espil was a member of Argentina's men's basketball team at the 1996 Atlanta Games. During the competition, Espil led the Argentinian team in points (22.6), assists (3.7), steals (1.1) and 3-point shooting (48.0% - 27 for 56). Against the U.S. Dream Team, the smooth-shooting Espil scored 27 points. Argentina finished the tournament 2-3 and did not advance past the preliminary round to the quarterfinals.
Since the early 1990s, Espil has been one of the best players in South America, and undoubtably the best South American Jewish basketball player. As a member of the Argentinian National team, Espil led them to a fifth place finish at the 1994 Goodwill Games, an eighth place finish at the 1994 World Championships, and a surprise gold medal at the 1995 Pan American Games (hosted by Argentina). In the gold medal match, Espil led Argentina with 27 points (23 in the second half) as they defeated the U.S. 90-86. The U.S. team was composed of players from the CBA.
At the 1998 World Championships, Juan led Argentina with 14.0 points and 1.8 assists per game; he added 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 steals, as well. Argentina made it to the quarterfinals before falling to Yugoslavia, the eventual champions.
Espil, who has both Argentinian and Italian citizenship, has played for top clubs in Argentina, Spain, and Italy. He played with Roma of the Italian League in 2000-01 averaged 14.9 points per game and made 41.3 % of his three-pointers. In 2001-02, he played with Badalona in Spain and averaged 16.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Jan. 5, 1968
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