Like all of his family, Juan wants to win...
The Nuggetsphere is afire since Summer League over the play of a few of the new players the Denver Nuggets drafted this season, and none of them is burning up the wire more than Juancho "Juan" Hernangomez (@juanchohg14), who played well enough in his appearances to give the Nuggets some tough decisions to make about keeping him stateside or stashing him in Europe for a year of seasoning, as exceptionally covered by Stiff's own Adam Mares earlier this week.
How did Hernangomez come by his liberated, freewheeling game? Basketball runs in his veins, with a family filled with hoops heads along for the ride. Super Stiff Daniel C. Lewis touched on this in a great "Five things to know" column after Juan was drafted, but here's an even closer look at the rest of the Hernangomez crew.
Juan's older brother Willy (short for Guillermo) was drafted last season by the New York Knicks, and then promptly stashed back in Spain for some seasoning. Last season with Real Madrid Baloncesto, Willy averaged 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds with Real Madrid's senior squad. Only 16 months separates Willy and Juan, and odds are good there was some serious competition in the Hernangomez household growing up. Speaking of growing up, Willy also has all of a one inch height advantage against his younger brother at 6'10".
Sister Andrea is making some waves of her own, joining the under-15 squad of Estudiantes last season, an extension of the club Juan and their father both played for. Andrea is now 5'10" at the age of 16. Though a few years behind Juan and Willy in age, Andrea plays so well at the small forward position that she's already being referred to by several Spanish outlets as one of the best players of her generation. So... she's got that going for her...
The kids came by all of this naturally, as both of their parents have hoops stories of their own. Their mom, Margarita Geuer, was a 6'1" pivot player who put in 158 games for the Spanish national team over a career nearly two decades long. Margarita also represented Spain in the 1992 Summer Olympics. The family's patriarch, Guillermo, is a 6'8" former forward who played basketball for several Spanish professional teams over a decade spanning 1983-1993.
It's no wonder Juan seems so comfortable on a court, he's got a family that forms a starting five all by themselves. Can you think of another family who can field a full team? Or even one who can boast so many high-caliber athletes? Denver's McCaffrey family comes to mind, but even they have yet to go four-for-five turning pro. Are you ready for some Juancho, Nuggets Nation? In Adam's poll the other day, nearly three-quarters of you voted you'd prefer the Nuggets to keep him in Denver this season. How much has a family full of hoopsters influenced Hernangomez' play?