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Juan Ignacio Sánchez Brown, also known as Pepe Sánchez (born May 8 1977 in Bahía Blancamarker) is an Argentinemarker professional basketball player, playing as point guard. His last team was Spanish league club power Real Madrid, who released him in April 2009. He was part of Argentina's 2004 Olympic champion team. Pepe Sánchez (1.93 metres, 6 feet 4 inches tall) was the first Argentine to play in the NBA, though he only played three unsuccessful seasons, with the Atlanta Hawks (5 games) Philadelphia 76ers (24 games), Detroit Pistons (9 games) and the Golden State Warriors, averaging only 5 minutes per game.

Player career

Early years

At age 12, he began playing for the youth team of Club Bahiense del Norte, together with future NBA star Emanuel Ginóbili. At age 17 he moved to Deportivo Roca for the 1994/95 season of the Argentine League, where he played point guard. The following year, he accepted a scholarship offer from Temple Universitymarker in Philadelphiamarker, but stayed in Argentina during the 1995/96 season, playing for Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca.

After his participation in the 1996 Youth Panamerican Tournament in Puerto Rico, where he represented Argentina's national basketball team, he moved to Philadelphia where he played for the Temple Owls college team for 4 years under Hall of Famemarker coach John Chaney, and finished his career as the #2 player in the NCAA in steals. As a junior, the crafty point guard guided the Owls to an appearance in the Elite Eight, where they fell to Duke. Despite averaging only 5.6 points per game as a senior, he was named a Third Team All-American by the Associated Press. He earned a degree in history at Temple in 2000.

Argentine national team

Sánchez was first called up to the Argentine senior national team in 1998. With Argentina, he played at the World Championships at both the 1998 FIBA World Championship and the 2002 FIBA World Championship (where he won the silver medal), the South American Championship 1999 (where he won the silver medal), and at the 2004 Olympic Basketball Tournament (where he won the gold medal).

Sánchez's performance at the 2006 FIBA World Basketball Championship was quite satisfactory, with the Argentine press choosing him as the most outstanding player in the team.


In Europe, Sánchez won the Euroleague championship in the Euroleague 2001-02 season while playing with the Greek league club Panathinaikos, and in the Spanish League with Etosa Alicante. He transferred to Spanishmarker Unicaja Málaga in 2004, with whom he won the 2005/06 ACB League; Unicaja's first Spanish League title. After three years at Unicaja, he left as a free agent when his contract expired at the end of the 2006-07 season. On August 13 2007, he signed with FC Barcelona.

In July 2008, he signed with Real Madrid, but he was released in April 2009.

Since he also possesses Spanish citizenship, his inclusion on the roster of any Spanish team does not count towards the foreign player intake limit allowed to teams in that country, or to teams anywhere in the European Union (see Bosman ruling for the reason).


Notes and references

  1. Voto de confianza

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