Pablo Rebollo, 20, has only been in the United States for four months, yet he has already become a valuable member of Bakersfield College Men’s Basketball team.
Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Rebollo’s major is kinesiology, but he has been focusing on improving his English skills first. In fact, he said that his main reasons for moving to the U.S. were to practice basketball and English.
He has been playing basketball since he was eight years old. When asked what drove him to the sport, he said that he remembers seeing his father play since he was little. He grew up surrounded by the sport and quickly became passionate about it.
His parents are his biggest source of inspiration. He is also a big fan of Spanish NBA player, Pau Gasol, who is a six-time NBA All-Star and has won two NBA championships.
Rebollo’s talents took him far in Spain. When he was 13 years old, he trained with Federacion Baloncesto Madrid, the basketball association of his home city, for a year.
“When I was 16, I then played for Club Baloncesto Estudiantes, third division, for three years. They are one of the biggest basketball teams in Spain,” he added.
At Bakersfield College, Rebollo is a point guard, and he has contributed to the renegade team’s four wins of the season. According to him, “what makes the team successful is teamwork and dedication.”
He practices every day, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. He does not follow a specific diet, but he cooks traditional Spanish food whenever he can. “I try to eat as healthy as possible by preparing my own meals,” he said.
In his spare time, he likes to read and hang out with friends. “I like reading poetry. I am currently reading ‘Con tal de verte volar,’ a book in Spanish,” Rebollo added.
When asked about his experience as an international student and athlete, the basketball player shared that he was glad he made the decision to travel to the U.S.
“It has been an unforgettable experience. It makes you grow, become more responsible, and it gives you a new perspective on life,” he mentioned.
Having the support of his teammates and Coach Hughes has also helped him better adapt to the challenging aspects of leaving what one knows and moving to an entirely different place.
Rebollo plans to move back to Spain in two years. There, he will continue to play basketball and work on his education. His dream is to play for a professional, third division or over, team.