BarcelonaLaprovittola plays for Barça. Laprovittola plays for Espanyol. This article could start with either sentence and both would be true. Tata Laprovittola, the brother of the great Barça star, committed a few weeks ago to the SD Espanyol, a project that grows year after year and that this season will compete in the Catalunya Cup, in the Fifth Division of state basketball. “I arrived in Barcelona four or five months ago with the idea of settling there, of establishing my life here. I had contacts with the people at Espanyol and did some training with them. I didn’t know if I would end up entering the final team, but in the end coach Paco López made up his mind and the possibility of playing for them opened up for me,” says Tata, who is three years younger than Nico, to ARA .
Espanyol is a club with a lot of basketball tradition that played five seasons in the ACB, but then disappeared from the map of Catalan basketball until five years ago, when it was refounded from the most modest categories. “They told me a lot about both the history of Espanyol and the new project. There are very enthusiastic people who want to promote this new stage and I love being part of a project that wants to grow,” he explains . This new adventure of the white-and-blue club is managed with passion, rigor and professionalism.
“I’m aware of the rivalry between Barça and Espanyol and Nico always makes fun of me. I don’t know if they’ll let me enter the Palau from now on… He pokes me, but always with good intentions,” Juan advances , which is Tata’s real name. Although they are separated by four categories, their playing style is similar to that of their brother. “I like to have the ball in my hands and create play for my teammates or look for my own shots,” he confirms.
“Basketball, our life”
“Basketball is our life. Every time I step on a basketball court, people know I’m Nicolás’ brother, but for me it’s a matter of pride. Everyone recognizes his quality. I try to play like him, but it’s not easy because he’s been pushing his ceiling up. Nobody expected the career he’s doing. It’s amazing. He stole some moves from me when we were kids, but now I’m a long way from his level,” he jokes.
The Laprovittola are three brothers. Nico is the eldest and Tata, the youngest. In addition, there is Federico. “Nico started playing when he was very young and little by little he dragged the rest of us along. I imitated what they did. When I went to see them on a basketball court, I would play with a ball. I had eight or nine years old when I started going to the club and got involved with the same passion as them. We also had a basket at home,” he recalls.
The one in Barcelona will be the first international experience for Tata. “I have always played in Argentina, but the city and the club are the ideal place to have this first adventure abroad. I am very happy. The level is similar to what I played when I was in Argentina,” he says . The dialogue between the Laprovittola brothers is constant. “We try to follow each other whenever we can and support each other. Now it will be easier. Before, with the distance and the time difference, everything was more complicated,” he explains.
The Laprovittola’s mother, Margarita Stolbizer, has an important political career and was a candidate for the presidency of Argentina. Did they talk more about sports or politics at home? “She is a national reference, but for me she has always been my mother. She has always been by our side to help us grow and give us a hand at any time. She cooked and waited for us at home with a plate on the table and the light on. She is very affectionate and I really appreciate the work she always did and the values she passed on to us,” he sums up. “My parents talked to each other about politics and we listened. Since I was little, my mother has been involved in politics and it is very important to her. She is very passionate,” adds Nico, one of Barça’s great figures.