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Juan Toscano-Anderson Brings Mexican Pride to NBA Championship

Add another to the list of things that people of Mexican descent have accomplished: an NBA Championship.

Juan Toscano-Anderson didn't play in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, but that doesn't mean he didn't make history. 

Toscano-Anderson became the first* player of Mexican descent to win a championship in NBA history on Thursday when the Warriors defeated the Celtics in six games to win the 2021-22 NBA Title.

De La Oscuridad A La Gloria

At Marquette, Toscano-Anderson averaged 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game as a senior. These were not "first-round draft pick" numbers. They were not draft-able statistics at all. Toscano-Anderson was undrafted. No NBA team wanted to take a chance on him in the G-League. Toscano-Anderson went a different route and played with the Mexican national team. There, he was able to play well enough to get an offer from the Soles de Mexicali in Mexico's Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional. There, Toscano-Anderson became one of the biggest stars in Mexico, winning an MVP and two league titles. This gave him a shot in the G-league with Golden State's Santa Cruz Warriors in 2018. He played well enough to get into the NBA with the Warriors in 2018 at 26 years old. He's been a fan favorite with his high-flying dunks ever since.

Orgullo

Some people consider the notion of a hard-working Mexican to be a cheap stereotype. By looking at the work put in by Toscano-Anderson and the obstacles, and preconceptions he had to overcome, the hard work and determination paid off in the most beautiful way possible for Toscano-Anderson. Going from being undrafted and unwanted by any NBA team to hoisting up the NBA Championship trophy is a miraculous story that any Mexican or Mexican-American can aspire to emulate.

*The first player of Mexican descent to win an NBA Championship was Mark Aguirre of the famous "Bad Boys" Pistons in 1989 and 1990. Toscano-Anderson is more vocal about his heritage but we did not want to forget Aguirre.