The spanish city of Barcelona was the venue of a high-profile pre-season exhibition game, Thursday, between FC Barcelona and the Los Angeles Lakers.
But those who came to watch the game witnessed another special moment as FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson honoured one of the best players in the World and 2009 FIBA Europe Player of the Year winner, Pau Gasol.
Beating all of his opponents in the FIBA Europe Player of the Year fan and expert vote, Gasol received what is rightfully his in front of 15,000 excited fans in the Palau Sant Jordi.
"Pau is a role model for all of us," said FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.
"His work ethic is tremendous and the passion he shows playing for his country makes him a true Spanish hero," added FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson who was at hand Thursday night to present the award.
Gasol was delighted about the honour of being the first to win this important award twice in a row.
The 2.14m forward-center, who is the reigning European champion, the EuroBasket MVP and a NBA champion, decided to rest this summer after playing for Spain year after year and appearing in more than 88 games with the Angeles Lakers last season.
The European basketball community will hope to see Gasol back in the Spanish jersey for the EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania, where Spain will look to defend their title.