Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Pau Gasol added to his extended accomplishments as a basketball player by joining an elite fraternity of players who personify the growth of basketball as an international sport.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol became just the 10th foreign-born player in NBA history to reach the 15,000 career points plateau after he hit a foul-line jumper with 9:21 remaining in the third quarter of the Lakers' win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Gasol also becomes the first player from Spain to accomplish the feat.
Gasol joins a prestigious list that includes Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria), Dominique Wilkins (France), Patrick Ewing (Jamaica), Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Rolando Blackman (Panama), Steve Nash (South Africa), Kiki Vandeweghe (Germany) and Detlef Schrempf (West Germany).
Great win tonight! Thanks you all for your messages on the milestone! You guys make these moments very special! twitter.com/paugasol/statu…— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) November 19, 2012
Gasol enjoyed a brief moment of celebration after his jumper went in and the pubic address announcer acknowledged his accomplishment at the next timeout.
"I just wanted to be successful," said Gasol on ESPN.com. "I just wanted to make it and earn respect and succeed and hopefully make people proud of what I was doing and make myself proud of myself. That's what I've always tried to do on a daily basis and so far I've gotten to this point and it's been, I think, pretty good."
Gasol has career averages of 18.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks and currently averages 14.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for the 5-5 Lakers.
The Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at 10:30 pm ET.