Pau Gasol is a Spanish professional basketball player who plays for the San Antonio Spurs. In 2001, he became the second Spanish player ever to join the NBA, and in 2006, he was the first Spaniard chosen to play an All-Star Game in Houston. He was also the first to classify for the playoffs with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2003–2004 and to win the NBA’s championship (twice, with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008–09 and 2009–10). In 2017, Gasol was named to the Executive Committee of the NBPA. He is the first player to be named to the Executive Committee that did not go through the NCAA system.
He became the first non-American player to become the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2002 with the Memphis Grizzlies. Gasol was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft but his rights were traded to Memphis.
From a very young age, Gasol had a passion for children’s health. His mother was a doctor and his father a hospital administrator who both practiced at home what they preached at work: healthy kids lead to happy families, who then, together, contribute to successful communities. The Gasols had regular access to and were educated on the importance of physical activity, healthy food and emotional security. Some of Pau’s fondest family memories were moments spent together actively living a healthy lifestyle. Gasol Foundation’s mission is to reduce Childhood Obesity rates and focuses all its energy and resources on promoting and transmitting healthy lifestyles amongst today’s youth through our programs, activities, and initiatives both in Spain and the United States. Through nutritional workshops, physical activity sessions and the key involvement of family and educators, our programs promote children ‘s knowledge, attitudes and habits for their full development.
Off the court, Gasol has also served as a UNICEF Spanish Committee Ambassador since 2003.