An end of an era has arrived for basketball in Malaga, Spain, where Unicaja announced that team captain Berni Rodriguez will not play for the club next season. Rodriguez, born in Malaga and a member of the club from age 8, will get a lasting honor with Unicaja’s decision that his No. 5 jersey will be retired. Rodriguez played 683 official games with Unicaja since his debut with the senior team on September 4, 1999 in a showdown against FC Barcelona that also officially opened its current arena, Palacio de los Deportes Martin Carpena. Rodriguez is Unicaja's career leader in scoring (4,742 points), assists (1,409), steals (549) and performance index ranking (3,860). During his time with Unicaja, Rodriguez has helped the team go from a well-known in Spain to one of the best clubs in European basketball. He has helped Unicaja win a Korac Cup title in 2001 and the Spanish King's Cup and the Spanish League trophies in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Rodriguez also took Unicaja to the Spanish League finals in 2002 and the Euroleague Final Four in 2007. On the international stage, he has achieved glory with the Spanish national team by winning the World Championships at junior (1999) and senior (2006) levels. He also won silver medals with Spain at EuroBasket 2007 in Spain and at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
"I would like to thank Unicaja for allowing me to enjoy basketball in my city for more than 20 years. I am sure that without its priceless, relentless support, Malaga wouldn't be a European basketball reference today," Rodriguez said. "I feel tremendously proud to have been a part of this project for so many years."