Fernando Martín Espina

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Fernando Martín
Fernando Martin Espina.jpg
Fernando Martín Espina during a 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
Playing career 1979–1989
Position Center / Power forward
Number 10
Career history
1979–1981 Estudiantes Mudespa
1981–1986 Real Madrid
1986–1987 Portland Trail Blazers
1987–1989 Real Madrid
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
FIBA Hall of Fame as player

Fernando Martín Espina (March 25, 1962 – December 3, 1989) was a Spanish professional basketball player who was considered to be one of the best Spanish basketball players ever.[citation needed] 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 wore the number 10 jersey, which Real Madrid retired after his death. In 2007, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

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[edit]

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 EuroBasket, the 1983 EuroBasket, where he won a silver medal, and the 1985 EuroBasket, where he was selected to the All-Tournament Team.


Martín died in a car accident in the M-30 motorway in Madrid, after crashing his own car, a limited edition Lancia Thema with a Ferrari engine. His death caused an enormous shock in Spanish basketball.

Personal life[edit]

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. His brother, Antonio Martín Espina, was also a professional basketball player.[1]

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


External links[edit]