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This Baller Proved Mexicans Don’t Just Excel At Baseball, Boxing And Soccer

If you’re a fan of March Madness, you probably remember Lorenzo Mata.

Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty

He’s the center from UCLA who went to a bunch of Final Fours and won several Pac-10 titles with the Bruins.

Mata was a big reason for UCLA’s three straight Final Four appearances.

Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty

From 2006 to 2008, Mata teamed up with future NBA players Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo at UCLA. During Mata’s senior year, Mata accepted a move to the bench to make way for Kevin Love, providing energy off the bench.

He was also the pride of South Gate, California.

Credit: @14Matador14/Instagram

Mata has always represented his hometown of South Gate, California. He didn’t leave his city to play for a powerhouse private school. Mata stayed to play for South Gate High and took it to new heights.

Making it to UCLA’s storied basketball squad is no small feat, and Mata became an inspiration for other Latino ballers.

Credit: Victor Decolongon / Getty

In 2008, Raymond Villalba, a South Gate High student, told the Los Angeles Times, “There haven’t been many Hispanics who do great at basketball. But he’s also getting a degree from UCLA and that doesn’t happen for many of us either. He’s a great role model.”

And Mata is grateful that his mother helped keep him on track.

Credit: @14matador14 / Instagram

Ron Davis, Mata’s high school history teacher, told the Los Angeles Times, “When I had him for U.S. history as an 11th grader, at first I noticed he wasn’t doing all the work. I spoke to his mother and his coach and pretty soon Lorenzo was buckling down. He was no dummy at all.”

So where’s Mata now? In Mexico, playing pro ball…

Credit: @14Matador14/Instagram

Mata went undrafted out of UCLA in 2008. That year, Mata joined the Los Angeles Lakers’ Summer League team with hopes of getting more attention from scouts. The center’s top choice was to play in Spain, but that soon changed and Mata elected to play his trade in Mexico.

He also plays for Mexico’s National Team, where he’s earned the nickname “El Matador.”

Credit: LatinContent / Getty

Mata dreamed of playing for the NBA, but he’s still living the dream, bringing gold to his home away from home.

Credit: LatinContent / Getty

Mata and the Mexican National Team captured the FIBA Americas Championship after defeating Puerto Rico in 2013. Mata was also a silver medalist with Mexico at the 2011 Pan American Games.

He’s currently playing for Pioneros in Cancún, Quintana Roo.

Credit: @14matador14 / Instagram

Not only does he have fans in Mexico…

Credit: @14Matador14

Yep, that’s Jesse Huerta of the pop group Jesse y Joy.

He’s also got lots of fans in Puerto Rico.

Credit: @14Matador14/Instagram

Why? Mata won the Baloncesto Superior Nacional championship with the Piratas de Quebradillas in 2013.

CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!! #piratasahi #puertorico #beastmode @cynthiacamacho_m

A video posted by LORENZO MATA (@14matador14) on

Credit: @14Matador14

Mata’s success in Mexico and playing club in Puerto Rico has led to many wild celebrations like this one.

Now that he’s made an impact in Mexico and Puerto Rico, Mata wants to continue inspiring young Latino basketball players.

Credit: LatinContent / Getty

The list of NBA players from Mexico or with Mexican roots is slim. Although Mata doesn’t play in the NBA, his success with the Mexican National Team could inspire more Latinos to think big on the basketball court.

READ: Meet Some of the Latino Football Players Who Made NFL History

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Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win

Entertainment

Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win

Parents always find new ways to be proud of their children and how to tell the world how proud they are. This includes Julio Urías’ father who recently unveiled his newest tattoo in honor of his World Series-winning son.

Julio Urías’ dad is showing off just how proud he is of his son.

Tattoo artist Andres Ortega Rojas posted photos on Instagram showing off the tattoo. Carlos Urías forever enshrined his sons victorious lunge after Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays while a tattoo on his left arm.

Rojas told TMZ that the tattoo took nine hours to complete and that is was Carlos’ first tattoo. The moment captured on Carlos’ arm is one that is etched into the brains of Dodgers fans. It was the first time the Dodger has won the World Series since 1988 ending a decades-long dry spell.

The tattoo is catching everyone’s attention.

People are loving the tribute made to his son with a tattoo. It being his first tattoo is even sweeter. We all know how much our parents are anti-tattoos so seeing this happen is extra touching. Julio is framed by the flags of the Commissioner’s Trophy in the tattoo marking what is clearly Carlos’ most proud moment.

The moment marks a culmination of a long journey to athletic stardom.

Julio first pitched for the Dodgers in 2015. The Mexican baseball player was called up to join the famed baseball team. Carlos and the family made a 13-hour road trip from the Mexican state of Sinaloa to Maryvale Park in Phoenix, Ariz. It was after that long trip that Carlos got to see Julio on the field pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It just goes to show you that anything is possible and that, if you work towards your goals, they can come true.

READ: Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

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Nike Signs This 8-Year-Old Soccer Prodigy At Younger Age Than Messi And Neymar

Entertainment

Nike Signs This 8-Year-Old Soccer Prodigy At Younger Age Than Messi And Neymar

Nike has long been known to scout some of the world’s greatest sports talents, especially when it comes to the world of soccer. It began with Neymar, who signed with the multinational corporation at the age of 13. That trend continued with Real Madrid’s Rodrygo, who, at the tender age of 11, became Nike’s youngest-ever affiliated athlete after dazzling at a youth tournament in New York.

But the bar has been raised once again. This time with an 8-year-old player who considered the next great prospect in Brazilian soccer.

Brazilian football prodigy Kauan Basile has signed with Nike at just 8-years-old.

Kauan Basile is just 8-years-old and he’s already playing for the Santos’ U-9 indoor football team. But now he’s just made history as the youngest player ever to sign a deal with Nike.

“I am very happy with the opportunity to play for Santos, as well as the contract. I like to play football,” Kauan Basile told Gazeta Esportiva

According to reports, the contract with Nike is guaranteed over three years, and there’s an option to extend it for two more. He’s now the youngest player in the world to sign with Nike. Even at the end of his contract, Basile will still be younger than both Messi and another ex-Santos kid, Neymar, in signing his first deal at Nike.

Messi put pen to paper on his first Nike contract aged 15, while Neymar was 13.

The kid is generating tons of buzz worldwide.

Basile’s agents, Mengoni Sports, revealed the news of the Nike deal with a proud post on social media. They wrote: “Today Kauan broke the record of being the youngest player in the WORLD by signing a contract with Nike!”

The post went on to add that “He is pure talent! He has football in the soul, in his heart and in his DNA.”

The sports world has reacted with excitement, especially across Brazil where football plays reach God-like status.

Football runs through Basile’s blood.

Like so many of football’s greats, Basile has the tradition of football in his blood. Both his father and great-grandfather both played professionally. His father Andrezinho was on the roster for Corinthians during his playing days.

And his dad couldn’t be more proud of his son going on to such major success, saying he’s ready for superstardom. He said: “He is a player with an absurd will to win. He has a lot of technical quality.”

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