Nobody could imagine that his period as a professional basketball player was going to be so long, for two decades and after watching him play this season at Canarias Basketball Academy it is difficult to foresee his retirement.
“He was always, and still is a great team player”, Gran Canaria ACB team coach Aíto Gª Reneses states, who everytime is free to attend the Centro Insular de Deportes in Las Palmas to watch CBA in Adecco Plata: ”All the coaches want players like him and this says a lot about him as he is playing at 40 at a great level”, he adds.
During his sports career, he has played 13 seasons in ACB, distributed in Gran Canaria (1995-2001), Fuenlabrada (2001-2003), Alicante (2003-2007) and Manresa (2007-2008). In the second division, in which he promoted twice, he completed two seasons, as well as one in Plata and two in EBA. He has also competed in ULEB Cup and called up to the U22 Spanish National Team, both for the European Championships in Instambul (1996), where he got the silver medal, and for the World Championships in Melbourne (1997).
Nowadays, Hernández can be proud of being the oldest player in the Spanish basketball since there are other two active players of his generation but were born after him: Alberto Rodríguez (17/08/1975) from Xuven Cambados (Adecco Plata), and Diego Sánchez (26/12/1975) from Unión Financiera Baloncesto Oviedo (Adecco Oro).
Berni Hernández: ”I am delighted to be the Spanish Basketball grandfather”
Grancanarian pointguard affirms that he always knew that his sports career was going to be long because “my idea was to retire as old as possible, I enjoy practicing and playing”.
Moreover, this season he has an extra goal: ”I love to advice and help the young players”, words that his coach Pepe Carrión corroborates: ”Having him in the team give us a guarantee because not only he is an important player due to his quality and understanding of the game, but also due to the role that he has redeemed towards his teammates (the majority is around 18 years old), to whom I always say that Roberto Guerra, Berni Hernández and Diego Quintana’s presence is a daily master because these three players are committed, advice and correct them… and this is a very important help for me as a coach “.
In that sense, Hernández considers that has fully satisfied the teaching aim of the Academy that was asked by its President Rob Orellana, a theory that confirm both young pointguard Pablo Martín (“Berni is a leader on and off the court, he is an example to follow; he is as clever as the most and generous with the teammates, teaching us to understand the game in a better way in order to read the advantages and the mistakes of the rivals”) and guard Xabi Gómez: “For he is a friend and despite his age, he is capable of controlling the game perfectly. He is a smart player and has a basketball wisdow that not too many players have and know to trasmit it”.
He has liked this task with the future talents that he even thinks about working as a specific coach: “I have the bug of being a coach from this season and I had not realised it”.
Besides for the other two CBA experienced players Berni was also an idol: “Since I was little I sat in the stands to watch him play and I enjoyed him”, Diego Quintana exposes and adds: “In addition, as he is a pointguard, I always said that some day I wanted to be like him”.
Roberto Guerra, for his part, thinks as Quintana: “Both for me and the rest of the players of my generation, Berni is a mentor, a kid that was released from Salesianos and that had success in his own land’s team and also in the mainland. Even more, he had great seasons. I was lucky to share locker room with him when I got to the first team and from the onwards I keep a good friendship with him”.
That is why Berni assures that, personally speaking, the best that he has got out of his profession is that, “at present, his best friends are still my teammates for my period in the young teams”, and in sport terms, he underlines “the two promotions to ACB with Gran Canaria and Lucentum, and the silver medall in the U22 European Championships with the Spanish National Team”.
The eternal No.4, which he wears because of his basketball idol, his sister (Barcelona’92 olympic dyploma), who will keep on playing in Adecco Plata with CBA until “the body resists”, he concludes, but before anything he reminds that “youth is not measured by years, but by the spirit”.