Fernando Martín Espina
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Fernando Martín Espina during a game
March 25, 1962|
|Died||December 3, 1989
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school||Estudiantes (Madrid, Spain)|
|NBA draft||1985 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38th overall|
|Selected by the New Jersey Nets|
|Position||Center / Power forward|
|1986–1987||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|FIBA Hall of Fame as player|
Fernando Martín Espina (March 25, 1962 – December 3, 1989) is considered to be one of the best Spanish basketball players ever. Martín was 2.06 m (6'9") tall, and he played primarily at the center position. He was considered a talented all-around athlete. He was a five-time swimming champion in Spain, as well as being a highly ranked athlete in the sports of handball, table tennis and judo.
Martín was the first Spanish player to play in the NBA, in 1986, and was also the second European to play in the 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 NBA season for the Blazers, being injured for two months. At the end of the season, he returned to Spain, to play again for Real Madrid.
Spanish national team
Martín also played for the senior Spanish national team, and he was a prominent player in the Spanish team that won the silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. Martín also represented his country at the 1981, 1983, and 1985 EuroBaskets, and, at the latter tournament, he was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
His son, Jan Martín, made a start in the top-tier level Spanish pro league, the ACB, with Estudiantes, in the 2002–03 season, and he also played with the Spanish national junior teams. His nephew, Dominick Martín, played college basketball at Yale University, and also played professionally in Spain.