Juan Núñez (18 years old, Madrid), one of the greatest stars of Spanish basketball in recent years, is leaving for Germany after failing to reach a renewal agreement with Real Madrid. The 18-year-old point guard, who had been with the white team since 2015 and whose contract ended this summer, signs for three seasons with the German team. The two clubs made official this Monday the transfer of the MVP of last Eurobasket under-20, who from next season will play in the Bundesliga and the Eurocup. Ulm highlights in its statement the particularity of the signing of the Real Madrid youth squad, noted as one of the best players of his generation, who was showered with offers this summer. “On the one hand, we were not in a position to offer him a contract with the amount that Real Madrid could give him, and also, initially the idea of Juan playing with a superior Spanish team and then loaning him to Ulm for a fee was valued. season”, explains the German club, which has finally managed to tie one of the players with the greatest projection in Europe.
Núñez is leaving Real Madrid despite the fact that he had the confidence of, first Pablo Laso, and then Chus Mateo. The current first-team coach, who coached during the final games of last season due to Laso’s absence, gave the youth squad a few minutes in the final phase of the ACB and the player responded at a good level, without shrinking from the challenge . That opportunity came to him in part due to the problems that Real Madrid had in the point guard position with the injuries to Williams-Goss and Alocén. But with the recovery of these two, plus the signing of Sergio Rodríguez, their chances of having minutes were tremendously complicated. Last year, his records in the ACB reached 1.1 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 6m 26s average per game.
Therefore, the youngster from Madrid leaves in search of minutes and a more important role in the team. Something offered by the German team trained by former player Anton Gavel, who has been key in the player’s signing. “I would like to thank coach Anton Gavel for his confidence that I can help this team to be more competitive,” Nunez said in the statement issued by Ulm. “We are a young team with a lot of ambition and energy that will be competitive from the start,” he highlights. Gavel, for his part, is delighted with his new reinforcement, whom he points out as a player with more experience than normal for someone his age. “With Juan we are hiring someone who has already achieved a lot at a young age and has led many teams to success. He was able to learn from the best players in Europe. Now he should take the next steps with us and take on more responsibilities”, says the coach.
Núñez’s departure is a blow to national basketball, which is unable to retain one of its most promising youngsters. With the lower categories of the national team, Núñez won the U-16 Eurobasket in 2019 and was chosen in the ideal quintet of the tournament and this summer he was proclaimed European U-20 champion, being the MVP of the tournament in which he averaged 11, 6 points, 4.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 3.9 rebounds in 21 minutes per game. This progression has led him directly to the senior team with Scariolo’s call for the Eurobasket. Núñez is still included in the list for the tournament, which originally included 22 players, of which 16 remain, and which will finally be reduced to 12. Last week he was able to make his debut with the elders in the second friendly against Greece at the Wizink, his last game on Goya’s pitch as a Real Madrid player.