Juan Antonio San Epifanio

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Juan Antonio San Epifanio Ruiz ("Epi")
CroppedEpi and Steve.jpg
Personal information
Born (1959-06-12) June 12, 1959 (age 56)
Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 1981 / Undrafted
Pro career 1979–1995
Position Small forward
Career history
1979–1995 FC Barcelona (Spain)
Career highlights and awards

Juan Antonio San Epifanio Ruiz ("Epi") (born 12 June 1959) is a retired Spanish professional basketball player, who is considered to be one of the greatest small forwards ever to play in Europe. Named the European Player of the Year, Mister Europa, in 1984, he spent all of his career playing with F.C. Barcelona.

Brief introduction[edit]

The Aragonese holds the record among Spanish players with the most national team caps (239, during a period longer than fifteen years). He is also the only Spanish national basketball team player who took part in 4 Summer Olympic Games (Moscow-80 to Barcelona-92). He was a silver Olympic medalist for Spain in LA-84, and a silver medalist in the European Championship in Nantes-83. He also won a bronze medal at EuroBasket 1991.

With F.C. Barcelona, he was a 3 time finalist in the European Champions Cup (Euroleague), twice the Saporta Cup winner, once the Korać Cup holder, 7 times the Spanish national league champion, and 10 times the Spanish Cup winner. His 54 points scored in a game against Joventut Badalona, in the early 80's, counts among his most memorable performances, and is the 2nd best scoring record ever in the Spanish League. Ranko Žeravica, was the one who gave him the opportunity to play for Barcelona's first team, in 1979. In 1973, he made his debut with CN Helios, in the Spanish third division. He was named by the Best European Player of the 80's, L’Equipe.

At the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, in Barcelona, he was honoured to be the last to carry the Olympic torch, before handing it to the archer Antonio Rebollo, who lit the fire in the cauldron with an arrow.

Early life[edit]

San Epifanio, known by almost everyone simply as, "Epi", grew up in Zaragoza, and began to play in his native city, but the local club, C.N. Helios Zaragoza, rejected him. In 1974, F.C. Barcelona signed his older brother, Herminio, to a contract. Herminio insisted that Juan would join him at the club, and so the two moved to Barcelona.

F.C. Barcelona for life[edit]

With F.C. Barcelona, Juan quickly improved his skills, and became a member of the Spanish junior national team.

In 1977, he joined the first team of Barcelona, and quickly became the leading man in Barcelona's successful team of the 80's, which finally broke the long-lived dominance of Real Madrid, after a prolonged period; together with players such as, Ignacio Solozábal, Juan de la Cruz, Audie Norris, and others.

In a total of 18 seasons at the club, he won the Spanish league title 7 times (1981, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1994), the Spanish King's Cup 10 times (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1991, and 1994), the Saporta Cup twice (1985–1986), the Korać Cup once (1987), and the Club World Cup once (1985). Although he reached the European Champions Cup (Euroleague) Final 3 times (1984, 1990, 1991), he never lifted the most important trophy in European basketball. He was named the MVP of the 1987 edition of the FIBA Club World Cup.

Spanish national team[edit]

In the same year he debuted with F.C. Barcelona, he also made his first appearance with the Spanish national team. He appeared in a total of 239 games, giving him the all-time lead in national team appearances for Spain.


San Epifanio's last game, was the last game of the season in 1995, in which F.C. Barcelona won another Spanish League title, on 25 May 1995.

As of 2007, he is a basketball commentator with Canal+ Spain.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Dino Meneghin
Mr. Europa
Succeeded by
Arvydas Sabonis