Manu Ginobili life and biography

Manu Ginobili picture, image, poster

Manu Ginobili biography

Date of birth : 1977-07-28
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Bahia Blanca, Argentina
Nationality : Argentine
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-07-06
Credited as : Basketball player NBA, San Antonio Spurs basketball team,

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Manu Ginobili (also known as: Emanuel David Ginobili), born July 28, 1977 in Bahia Blanca, Argentina is an Argentine basketball player.


Manu Ginobili, in less than a year, sparked Argentina to an Olympic gold medal and the San Antonio Spurs to a National Basketball Association (NBA) championship. Ginobili is one of the game's most marketable stars internationally. "With Manu Mania continuing to sweep Argentina, Ginobili and the NBA have done their best to capitalize on his swift rise to popularity, using it to spur interest in basketball, as well as the league's community outreach programs," Johnny Ludden of the San Antonio Express-News wrote, shortly after the Spurs won the 2005 NBA title.

Grew Up Admiring Jordan

Ginobili was born Emanuel David Ginobili, and grew up in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. His favorite athletes were Michael Jordan, who carried the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s, and Diego Maradona, the hero in Argentina's 1986 World Cup victory. His father was president of the Bahienese del Norte team and an Argentine basketball fixture. Ginobili's brothers, Leandro and Sebastian, have played pro basketball in Argentina and Spain.

Manu Ginobili made his professional debut with Andino of Argentina's elite league in the 1995-96 season. He played for Estudiantes Bahia Blanca in that country for two seasons, then moved to Italy and played for Basket Viola Reggio Calabria and Virtus Bologna. He was named most valuable player of the 2001 Euroleague finals and the Italian League in 2001 and 2002. Ginobili has played for Argentina's national team since 1998 and was named to the all-tournament team at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis, where the Argentines won a silver medal.

San Antonio had selected Ginobili in the second round of the 1999 NBA draft. He joined the Spurs for the 2002-03 season, making the NBA all-rookie second team as San Antonio won its second title in franchise history, dethroning the three-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers along the way. He ranked second in postseason steals with 41, only one behind Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons. The following season, Ginobili averaged nearly 13 points per game in the regular season while starting nearly half the Spurs' games.

Whirlwind Year in 2004-05

The 2004-05 year was memorable for Ginobili. In June of 2004 he married his longtime girlfriend, Marianela Orono, and while on his honeymoon signed a six-year contract with San Antonio, the third richest in franchise history. Later that summer he sparked Argentina to a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

In Argentina's opening game, he made an off-balance shot at the buzzer to catapult his team past Serbia and Montenegro. Ginobili scored 29 points against the United States, one of whose top stars was San Antonio teammate Tim Duncan. "If we weren't going to win the gold, I'm glad Manu did," Duncan said, according to Ludden. Ginobili's hero status in Argentina skyrocketed. But there were stressful moments, too; shortly after he signed his contract, police in Buenos Aires disrupted a possible plot to kidnap one of his brothers.

Spurs' Coach Gregg Popovich made Ginobili a full-time starter for the NBA season and the move paid off. Ginobili averaged 16 points per game and dazzled fans with his creative play from the guard position. He averaged nearly 21 points over 23 playoff games as San Antonio won its second title in three years, beating defending champion Detroit in the full, seven-game Finals.

The Spurs' latest playoff run put Ginobili, who obliged with postgame interviews in several languages, in the worldwide spotlight. "Ginobili is the one who can end the argument that Tim Duncan couldn't win a championship without David Robinson," Scoop Jackson wrote on the ESPN.com website. Robinson led San Antonio to its other two titles before retiring in 2003. "The Roberto Benigni lookalike with long black hair flopping in his face as he soars in for dunks and throws his body onto the floor for loose balls is at the same time grounded in a blue-collar work ethic," Fran Blinebury wrote in the Houston Chronicle. Even his misfortunes drew media attention. Blinebury called him "the most visible symbol of frustration" after San Antonio lost the third and fourth games of that series in Detroit.

Hero's Welcome in Argentina

After San Antonio's 2005 title, frenzied crowds greeted Ginobili in Argentina when he arrived for an NBA-sponsored goodwill tour. His visit to a hospital in one of the poorer neighborhoods in Buenos Aires generated such chaos the NBA almost canceled the event. Children scaled staircase banisters and one elderly woman broke down in tears after touching him. "They think he can heal them," one worker said, according to Ludden.

"I go to Africa every year and see how the people come up to you," said longtime NBA center Dikembe Mutombo, a native of the Congo, in the same article. "But I had never seen anything like this. People were just going crazy."

"It doesn't matter where I go," Ginobili told Ludden. "These are always my people. I am a son of the city."

April 21, 2008: Ginobili won the NBA's sixth man award as the league's top reserve.

August 2008: Ginobili won a bronze medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, as a member of Argentina's men's basketball team.

AWARDS

Most Valuable Player, Euroleague Finals, 2001; Most Valuable Player, Italian League, 2001, 2002; All-Tournament Team, World Championships of Basketball, 2002; Estadio Manu Ginobili named in his honor, Bahia Blanca, Argentina.

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