Pau Gasol

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Two-Time NBA Champion, Investor, and Philanthropist

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Pau Gasol: Biography at a Glance

  • Pau Gasol is an advisor, an investor and an activist in projects related to sports and well-being.
  • In 2023, Pau was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, becoming the first player from Spain to enter. 
  • He played professional basketball for 20 years in the NBA, on the Spanish National Team, and in Spain’s ACB league.
  • Pau is is President of the Gasol Foundation which has a mission of eradicating childhood obesity through research, holistic, data-driven programming and illuminating the obesity crisis as the greatest opportunity to invest in the health of our future.
  • A notable investor, Pau's ventures include the WNBA, Therabody, Oura Ring, Overtime, Better Up, and Sports Innovation Lab.
  • Pau published his first book, Life/Vida, which contained previously unseen photos taken over the course of four years and declarations from some of the world’s leading basketball players.
  • An avid reader and amateur writer, Pau launched a second book, Bajo el Aro, (Under the Hoop) in which he shares his experiences and lessons in victory and defeat from his long career.
  • Amazon Prime launched the four-episode docuseries Pau Gasol: It’s About the Journey, presenting his professional career and projects off the court.

Videos

Biography

Pau Gasol is an advisor, an investor and an activist in projects related to sports and well-being. He played professional basketball for 20 years in the NBA, on the Spanish National Team, and in Spain’s ACB league. He is president of the Gasol Foundation, a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission, and a UNICEF Global Champion for Nutrition and Zero Childhood Obesity.

Pau Gasol began his professional basketball career at FC Barcelona. In those early years the team won the ACB league championship twice (1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons) and won Spain’s Copa del Rey de Baloncesto once (2000-2001).

When he returned to the club 20 years later (in 2021), at the request of coach Saras Jasikevicius, the team finished second in the EuroLeague. Later that year, he announced his retirement from professional basketball.

From 2017 to 2020 he was vice-president of the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association). He was one of the few players on its Executive Committee who hadn’t previously been in the NCAA. For 65 years the NBPA has been protecting the rights and defending the interests of NBA players. It also gives out some annual prizes, the Players Voice Awards (in 2015 Pau received the Global Impact Player award).

In 2001, Pau was selected in the third round of the NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks, who then transferred those rights to the Memphis Grizzlies. Pau became only the second Spanish player to reach the NBA. During his first season with the Grizzlies, he earned the Rookie of the Year award, becoming the first non-US player to receive this distinction.

In 2006, Pau was the first Spanish player to take part in an NBA All-Star Game, in Houston, marking the first of his six appearances in this unique event. After moving to the L.A. Lakers in February of 2008, Pau won two NBA championships, one in 2009 and one in 2010.

As a member of the Spanish national basketball team, Pau has earned numerous distinctions, including three Olympic medals: in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He also helped Spain win gold in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, where he was named MVP. And, he helped Spain win three European Championships (2009, 2011 and 2015), earning the MVP award in two of them. During the 2017 Eurobasket, Pau became the highest scorer of all time in a single year. In the summer of 2021 he competed in the Tokyo Olympic Games, his fifth Games. During the Tokyo Games, he was elected by the Olympic Athletes to represent them as a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission. He is currently serving an eight-year term on the commission.

Topics

SMART Leadership: Lessons From the Courtarrow-down

A current member of the San Antonio Spurs and a former member of the Chicago Bulls (2014-2016), the Los Angeles Lakers (2008–2014) and the Memphis Grizzlies (2001–2008), Pau Gasol provides fascinating and unique perceptions on what it takes to a ignite team spirit and on the responsibility that comes with powerful leadership. The second Spanish player to ever join the NBA and the first Spaniard chosen to play an NBA All-Star Game, Gasol walks through his personal evolution of becoming a leader in the public eye both on the basketball court and off. He offers insights on the importance of finding a role alongside other leaders within an organization as well as the tools needed to maximize strengths and create winning teams. Exploring the need for leaders to have a vision, being able to forge relationships and having the courage to make tough decisions, audience members take away a deep understanding of what Gasol believes are the keys to great leadership in this informative and thought-provoking presentation.

Today's Epidemic: How Childhood Obesity is Causing this Generation to Live Shorter, Unhealthier Lives Than Their Parentsarrow-down

Childhood Obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century and affects 42 million children worldwide. According to WHO (World Health Organization), 70 million young children will be overweight or obese by 2025. If this trend continues, we are facing the first generation that could live less than their parents. In this talk, Pau will share some alarming stats about childhood obesity, and what organizations like the Gasol Foundation are doing to reverse this trend and ensure a healthy future for our children.

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