Club profile: Joventut Badalona

Jul 30, 2021 by Print
Club profile: Joventut Badalona

Joventut Badalona comes off a season in which it reached the EuroCup playoffs with a mix of experienced veterans and up-and-coming talent. The club will stick with the same recipe in the 2021-22 campaign, which could have Joventut playing a significant role when the most decisive games of the season arrive.

Founded in 1930, Joventut quickly built a reputation based on its faith in homegrown players. The long list of Joventut players brought up through its youth system features decades' worth of stars such as Jordi Villacampa, the Margall brothers, the Jofresa brothers, Nino Buscato, Rudy Fernandez and Ricky Rubio. To its mine of local talent, Joventut integrated talented outsiders, among whom the names Moka Slavnic, Joe Galvin and Corny Thompson stand out.

Joventut emerged as a national power by winning four Spanish Copas del Rey between 1948 and 1958 and its first league title in 1967. A first European trophy came in 1981 when it lifted the Korac Cup. Joventut added a second Korac Cup in 1990. Soon after moving to Palau Olimpic, its current home court, Joventut won consecutive Spanish League titles in 1991 and 1992, the year in which the team lost the EuroLeague final against Partizan in dramatic fashion. However, Joventut only waited two more years to lift the crown. Villacampa and Thompson hit crucial three-pointers to beat Olympiacos in Tel Aviv and win the EuroLeague.

After winning the Copa del Rey in 1997, a downturn followed. Joventut started to shine again in the newborn EuroCup and reached the semifinals in 2003. Joventut had its breakout season in 2006, as it advanced to the Spanish League semifinals and won a new European trophy, the FIBA EuroCup. The following season, Joventut returned to the Spanish League semifinals and made the EuroLeague Top 16. In 2008, Joventut added the ULEB Cup to its roll of honors. Joventut also won the Copa del Rey and reached the Spanish League semifinals to round out one of the best seasons in club history.

Joventut reached the EuroCup Last 16 in 2010, but lost its competitiveness shortly thereafter. It bounced back in 2018-19, reaching the Copa del Rey semifinals and the Spanish League playoffs behind Spanish League MVP Nico Laprovittola. Last season, Ante Tomic, Neno Dimitrijevic and Xabi Lopez-Arostegui took Joventut to the EuroCup Quarterfinals, where it was stopped by Virtus Segafredo Bologna. Some of the team's most experienced players are homegrown, which means Joventut's commitment to excellence is unquestioned as it looks to climb even higher this season.