Off the Court: Gustavo Ayon

Thursday, January 26, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

New Orleans forward Gustavo Ayon sat down with recently to discuss some of his interests away from the game of basketball. The NBA rookie contributed the best offensive performance of his brief Hornets career Wednesday in Oklahoma City, with 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting.

Person who had the most influence on his basketball career: “My former Xalapa teammate Victor Mariscal. He was the main person behind why I started playing professional basketball in Mexico.”

Person who has had the most influence on his development off the court: “At every stage, I’ve had someone important. In Puebla, Mexico, my coach Javier Ceniceros; Victor Mariscal in Xalapa; and coach Salva Maldonado in Spain. They all have influenced my development.”

Best moment as an athlete: “The last three months in Spain were fantastic. My best moment in the NBA is being here.”

How he chose his uniform number: “I like number 14, but Jason Smith already has it, so I picked the next one: 15. I like 14 because that’s the number I used for the first time in Xalapa.”

How he chose his sound bite for when he scores a basket in the arena: “I didn’t choose it, but I want the team to play the Mexico national anthem when I score.”

One thing fans might be surprised to know: “I know a lot about cars, and I really love everything about them.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “I need to find a distraction in the city because I spend most of my time traveling, playing or practicing.”

Pregame ritual: “I pray to Our Father and put my trust in God before each game.”

First job: “When I was 14, I worked as a waiter, but I got fired the second day.”

Favorite athlete as a kid: “Luis Scola when he was playing in Spain, and former Mexican soccer star Cuauhtémoc Blanco.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “I would be doing anything related to cars.”

Closest friend: “My best friend is a physical education teacher at a school in my hometown.”

Favorite type of music: “I love Banda music, and Joan Sebastian (Bandas are most widely-known for their rancheras).”

Favorite TV show: “Maria Mercedes, a Mexican soap opera starring Thalía.”

Favorite movie of all time:“Diario de Una Pasión (The Notebook). This movie resembles my relationship with my wife.”

Favorite website: “Facebook. I can spend all day talking to my friends and family on Facebook.”

What he enjoys about Twitter: “My account is @ayongustavo. I try to post only relevant information.”