Fernando Martín Espina

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Martín.
Fernando Martín
Fernando Martin Espina.jpg
Fernando Martín Espina during basketball game
Personal information
Born (1962-03-25)March 25, 1962
Madrid, Spain
Died December 3, 1989(1989-12-03) (aged 27)
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school Estudiantes, Madrid, Spain
NBA draft 1985 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38th overall
Selected by the New Jersey Nets
Pro career 1979–1989
Position Center / Power forward
Career history
1979–1981 Estudiantes Mudespa (Spain)
1981–1986 Real Madrid (Spain)
1986–1987 Portland Trail Blazers
1987–1989 Real Madrid (Spain)
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Fernando Martín Espina (March 25, 1962 – December 3, 1989) is considered one of the best Spanish basketball players ever.

Martin was 2.06 m tall, and played primarily at center. He was considered a talented all-around athlete. He was a five-time swimming champion in Castile as well as a gaining high rankings in handball, table tennis and judo.

Martin was the first Spanish player to play in the NBA, in 1986, and one of the first Europeans to play in this league. He played for the Portland Trail Blazers and, earlier, in Spain for Estudiantes and Real Madrid. He played in only 24 games in the 1986-87 season for the Blazers, having been injured for two months. At the end of the season, he returned to Spain to play again for Real Madrid.

Martin also played for the Spanish national team and was a prominent player in the Spanish team that won the silver medal in the Los Angeles Olympic Games of 1984. Martín also represented his country in the 1981, 1983 and 1985 European basketball championship, and, during the latter, was selected for the all-tournament team.

Martin died in a car accident, crashing his own car, a limited edition Lancia Thema with a Ferrari engine. His death caused an enormous shock in Spanish basketball.

In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. Martin wore the number 10 on his shirt which Real Madrid has not used since his death.

His son, Jan Martín, made a start in the Spanish pro league ACB in CB Estudiantes in the season 2004-2005 and has also played for the Spanish national junior team. His nephew, Dominick Martin, played for Yale and now plays professionally in Spain.

For his first dunk in the 2009 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest Portland Trail Blazers player Rudy Fernández wore a #10 Martin Blazers jersey in his honor.