Ricky Rubio Named MVP, Wins Gold in 2019 FIBA World Cup
Ricky Rubio hasn’t played a game yet for the Phoenix Suns, but he’s already showing the organization and fanbase what he is capable of on the court at a global scale. Not only did Rubio lead the Spanish National Team to win the gold medal at the FIBA World Cup 2019, but he earned himself the TISSOT Most Valuable Player Award in the process for his dominant play throughout the tournament
The 28-year-old point guard guided Spain to their first FIBA World Cup championship since 2006 while leading the team in scoring (16.4 ppg.) and assists (6.0 apg.) to go along with his 4.6. rebounds and 1.5 steals.
Rubio took his gameplay to another level when his country needed him most in the Semi-Final and Title game. He tipped-off against Suns teammate Aron Baynes in order to reach the Finals, as Spain and Australia battled through two overtimes in one of the most thrilling games of the tournament. Rubio ultimately got the better of the matchup scoring 19 points with 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals.
Spain took care of Argentina much more convincingly in the Finals with a 95-75 victory behind Rubio’s 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
“We made history,” Rubio told FIBA.basketball. “We had to fight for this one. It's just amazing how the whole tournament has been for us as a team. We weren't the biggest or most talented team, but we were the team with the biggest heart. We showed it tonight and in the whole tournament. Couldn't be more proud of my teammates and our coaches. This will go down as a memory for us as a family.”
Family was one of Rubio’s main driving forces throughout the tournament as he continuously felt his mother guiding him on his way to victory.
"I lost my mom three years ago,” Rubio said. “I know she was behind me, pushing me every day to get the best out of me, and I know there's nobody in this world who loves me more than her. She's still driving me every day.”
All eyes have been on Rubio since he first made his highly-anticipated professional debut for Spain at age 14. Fast forward to age 28, he’s wearing a FIBA World Cup gold medal with his Spanish teammates while accepting the TISSOT Most Valuable Player Award.
"I wanted to enjoy the moment and remember, because it's something that's going to follow me for life," Rubio said. "This tournament is special. This place will always be special, now and all time. Everything started here, but it doesn't end here. This place holds a great chapter of my life."
The title has been won for Spain and now Rubio’s focus shifts back to the U.S. and his commitment to the city of Phoenix and the Suns organization. His tenacity, playmaking and scoring-prowess displayed throughout the FIBA World Cup will now be inserted into the Suns lineup as he gears up to lead the young team into the 2019-20 season next month.