Calm, cheerful and always ready to help, to make bigger what he already considers his own, because today, honestly, it is difficult to understand what the Canarias Basketball Academy without him.
Ricardo González-Roca Castañón (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1983) is a key piece in the puzzle that forms the family of the Canarias Basketball Academy. Known as ‘Piti’ in the residence located in Tafira-Alta, this year he takes the position of Chief of Operations, previously owned by Samuel Sosa. He is, therefore, in charge of the logistics, coaches and organization of the residence. Furthermore, he is the coach of both cadet and junior teams who compete in the junior autonomic competition. Extremley multi-purpose, a man for everything in the Canarais Basketball Academy
“He puts a lot of energy and attention to the players, always aware of the small details and very close, constantly corrects us and helps us a lot to improve. It is fortunate that he is in the Academy”, explains Isaac Pla, one of the players of the CBA. However, he and other athletes who grow up at the Canarias Basketball Academy, do not know Piti’s basketball past, which today helps him to become a better coach.
The fact is that González-Roca was recognized in his day as one of the great projects of Spanish basketball. Selected for international duty in both categories of cadet and junior, and playing for Valencia Basket. He also played for Real Madrid, where he was fortunate to share the court with his childhood idol, Alberto Herreros, although most of his career was developed at Amics del Bàsquet, where he spent 6-7 seasons with the Castellon club.
Piti therefore has been fortunate enough to be on the same floor during his junior years with great players such as Leo Mainoldi, Pancho Barrera, Rafa Martínez, Pedro Llompart, Óliver Arteaga, Álex Urtasun, Roberto Guerra, Fran Vázquez, Carles Bivià, Edu Hernández-Sonseca and Nacho Martín . As well as having played with the Spanish selection at cadet and junior, he also recalls the success that he achieved as a player and will never forget the tournament of Orotava or being crowed champion at the prestigious tournament of Tenerife with Valencia Basket .
Piti was a born shooter, but also extremely dangerous on both sides of the court as he was able to play game without a ball and very intuitive in the defense. Always a extermely valuable player that is a must have in any team.
He had all the qualities to play the game at the proffesional level but sadly injury took its toll. “I broke my knee three times and by the time i turned 28 years old i was still struggling and stayed five-six consecutive seasons in Castellón, I knew that I could not progress any further and It was at this point i turned my attention and saw the importance of academic training”, A hard decision to make but a very important step in the next chapter of his life.
“Basketball is not everything, you need an academic training for when your time as a player is over, you need to continue developing in other aspects of life that are just as important or in some cases even more”. So when Piti returned to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria he decided to enroll in a Teaching degree and continue to be linked to basketball working with the Canarias Basketball Academy.
“I wanted to be a basketball coach when I went back to Las Palmas, at first i worked for my brother’s team and he had asked me to coach one of the junior age groups. I had already had that experience in Castellón and I was excited to have the opportunity to be able to teach children the game i love”, explains Piti, at the same time he points out: “Interestingly at the end of the season I spoke with the president at CBA about the possibility of helping at the Academy during their summer camps. I worked for the full six weeks at camp and to my delight I was offered a job at CBA and here I am”.
‘Piti’ can not disguise it. He is delighted to be part of Rob Orellana organisation. For him, CBA “is a different way of working to what he has seen in other clubs when I have been a player. Here the key thing is the work of individual technique; The improvement of the player is always the fundamental goal”.
Now in his 3rd season he still continues to be surprised by what he sees daily: “I am struck by the work rate of the players everyday, they never say no, they always want more, they even ask you train at 5:00 in the morning”. “The dedication the players and coaches show is what makes this project special”.