Last summer, Basque pointguard Jon Peña had to face an important dilemma: go or not to go to CBA. That was the question. Finally, he chose to live the experience of moving to the Canarian Archipelago and enrolling in a High Performance Academy where he always had clear that his aim was to improve, improve and improve.

Jon Peña

Photo: José Juan Martín Domínguez

Nowadays, fully adapted in sport, academic and social terms, he looks back and is happy about taking that decision because he came to CBA “to get better”. “And I had really done it, because in Euskadi there are less means for that; I had never minded too much about some specific skills such as faking, and here they are highly perfected, and at the same time I had never thought about practicing at this level not even in the weekends, but now it is a very common thing in my life”.

Anyway, Peña recognizes that his beginning in Gran Canaria was not easy: “When you get to CBA it is extremely hard, because the volume and quantity of the practices have nothing to do with the ones I had already experienced since there are several sessions everyday but once you get the rhythm, you are more comfortable and you meet people that is living the same experience as you”.

The pointguard from Bilbao belongs to the U18 CBA White coached by Sergio Salesa and that “goes very well, unbeaten, working out the most important encounters”, thought he stresses: “If we keep on working we can keep on growing”.

Jon Peña can even say that he has been called up with the first Canarias Basketball Academy team in Liga Adecco Plata twice and he is only 17. “Pepe Carrión’s call was absolutely unexpected and I was a little frightened in the beginning, but the coach told me: ‘Hey, the others are only one year older than you and you’ve been called because you can do it well’”.

In that sense, his first travel was to Marín (Galicia) where he played 20 minutes, and the second to his homeland in Azpeitia: “It was really emotional to see my parents in the stands and that they told me that they are proud of me”.

“I will never forget that experience”, he adds and points out that “the trips with CBA have been “awesome”: “I went to the Pedrajas Tournament in Valladolid and to the USA, concretely to California, where I realized that my way of playing is not exclusive in the world, but there are more physical ways…”. “Everybody should do this trip once in their lifetime”, he affirms.

Regarding the future, Peña does not consider anything special, “because I prefer to live day by day”, but he is aware that the Academy opens too many possibilities that I had never valued before. Though he is sure about “keeping on playing basketball and studying a degree”. Time will tell.