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Spanish teenage PG Rubio amazed by Olympic call-up
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Teenage point guard Ricky Rubio told El Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday that he could hardly believe that he was on the verge of traveling to the Beijing Olympics with the Spanish basketball team.

Rubio, who is only 17 years and nine months old, has been a star in the Spanish Liga ACB with his club DKV Joventut. Former Joventut coach Aito Garcia Reneses in now in charge of the Spain squad and has shown the faith in Rubio that he had at club level.

Nevertheless, the teenager is still amazed at what is happening to him.

"I didn't expect to be called up. I could never have imagined that I would be going to the Games and even less so at my age. It is something that is really exciting for me," he told El Mundo Deportivo.

"The players have told me what it is like to go to the Games, they even joke that you have to stand up for five hours during the opening ceremony. Overall they say it is an experience that is really great and that you can breathe in an atmosphere that is all sport and not just basketball. I think it is going to be fantastic, " said Rubio.

Rubio is from Badalona, a suburb of Barcelona, but he is too young to remember the 1992 Games that were celebrated in his home town.

"I don't remember anything about Barcelona 92, but of course I have seen a lot of pictures of it on the TV. The first Olympics I can remember were those held in Sydney - I was a bit older then," he said, pleased with the training sessions Spain have been holding near Cadiz.

"Everything has gone well. There are some new things to learn for the squad, but Rudy (Fernandez) and I have done them before in Joventut during the past two years."

"We have some real quality players and I think it is one of the best teams Spain has had in its history. There are very important players here from the NBA and the (Spanish) Liga ACB. You can almost say that the two MVP's (Most Valuable Player) of the ACB ( Marc Gasol and Fernandez) are going to be substitutes, that says it all," concluded Rubio.

(Xinhua News Agency July 17)

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