To talk about basketball you have to talk about Alcobendas. You cannot ignore a city that, if it encompasses more looks, could be a mecca for sports, especially the one at hand. With more than 500,000 square meters of facilities, there is no place that cares so eagerly for the new generations or with as much variety as the city of Madrid does. With rugby, handball or swimming teams, it is especially known in the basketball world for being the place of origin of historical figures such as Amaya Valdemoro. And it is, since 1990, the headquarters of the International Center for Basketball Documentation and Research. Popularly known, of course, as the Ferrándiz Foundation, in honor of its creator and a man who is still intrinsically linked to the city. Both, the person and the City Council, will enter the Hall of Fame, on October 21, at the La Cartuja stadium (Seville). Amaya Valdemoro will also do it. The three will enter separately, each on its own merits. But its history, and that of Alcobendas in particular, is linked to that of Amaya and Pedro in such a clear way that it is impossible to understand the history of the city without theirs.
A delegation from the City Council will go to Seville to be the protagonist of a historic entry for the city. Among them will be, in principle, the mayor Aitor Retolaza, who arrived at his post in on October 7, 2021, by replacing, after a Government agreement, Rafael Sánchez Acera. The already ex-mayor dedicated himself, since 2019, to promoting the sports tradition that already existed in the city, one that, according to his words, “it’s huge”. Sánchez Acera attended AS when he was still first mayor on the occasion of the entrance of the institution, something that he says is “an honor” for them and a recognition of the enormous connection they have had with the sport for so many years. Twice Spanish city of sports, Alcobendas has many clubs in different categories and owes its connection with the Spanish Basketball Federation and with sport in particular to Pedro Ferrándiz, much loved in the City Council and with a capital importance so that today they enter the Hall of Fame.
“Pedro Ferrándiz is a great character. He has a knowledge of basketball that is not written”
Rafael Sánchez Acera
“A bet from Pedro brought us very close to national basketball. After that, the FEB built a second headquarters in what was previously the Pedro Ferrándiz Foundation, something that united us to them“, says Sánchez Acera. The former mayor, who met Ferrándiz when he was a councilor, defined the historic Spanish coach as “a great character” and assured that it is “intense, with an incredible global vision and with a knowledge of basketball that is not written”. In addition, Sánchez Acera has also highlighted the role of Amaya Valdemoro, “the best player ever”, in addition to the Beirán family (José Manuel and his son Javier, world champion in 2019 with the National Team). An endless connection of a city, Alcobendas, with one of the sports most followed by Spanish fans.
Grassroots sport reaches the Hall of Fame
The most striking and, at the same time, the most meritorious thing for Alcobendas is entering the Hall of Fame without being a specific public figure, but rather an entity. And to do it when, what is promoted mainly in the city is the grassroots sport. “It is a pride that such an important sport for Spaniards has this link with a city that welcomes grassroots sports”, says Sánchez Acera, who qualifies the inclusion as “honor”. The Government team decided to keep the sports facilities open during the coronavirus, always with health regulations in mind. “If we promote sport and health, we link sport with health, and keeping sport open in such a delicate moment of health was a priority objective“.
In Alcobendas, sport reaches all boys and girls. The Alcobendas Basketball Club has 300 members, while the FEMADDI is promoted, a center for the inclusion in sports of people with intellectual disabilities. The girls play in the Challenge League and the boys in the EBA League. A very large dimension for a city with a very special connection to basketball. Entry into the Hall of Fame is recognition of a career linked to sports in general and basketball in particular. The culmination of the city of Amaya Valdemoro, the Beirán family and many young people who look to the future. And the Hall of Fame award, for Sánchez Acera, means greater contact with well-known idols in Alcobendas. “This allows boys and girls to say: ‘why can’t I be an Olympic champion?’“. A question that is almost an ambition and that can be asked thanks to the knowledge they have of the referents. Of their referents. Those of Alcobendas.