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Juan Toscano-Anderson Talks Identity in Interview: ‘As Much as I Am Mexican, I’m Black as Well’

Fresh off his historic championship win with the Golden State Warriors, small forward Juan Toscano-Anderson, 29, caught up with NBC to discuss his excitement, as well as his Mexican and Black heritage.

Toscano-Anderson, who began using his Latino surname after graduating from college, is only the second Mexican- American player to win an NBA championship following the 1989 Detroit Pistons win with Mark Aguirre.

“As much as I am Mexican, I’m Black as well,” the East Oakland native said. “I love being Black. It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than all that.”

The defensive player went on to share some words of inspiration, using his own life as an example of success in the face of adversity. “It don’t matter what color you are… It don’t matter where you come from. I’ve been homeless three times in my life. I’ve transferred schools five times. I lived in 12 different houses throughout my life. I’m not supposed to be here, so this is just a dream come true.”

Courtesy of Getty Images

Toscano-Anderson started playing with the Warriors in the 2019-20 season, part of just 13 games before going on to play 53 games during the 2020-21 season and 73 games this last year. He also played in 14 of this year’s 22 playoff games, scoring a total of 11 points.

Before that, Toscano-Anderson played internationally in Mexico and Venezuela after graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From there, the player participated in the minor G League with the Santa Cruz Warriors before being drafted by Golden State in 2019.

“I waited my whole life for this moment,” said the NBA champ of his rise to the top.

If ever there were a time to boast, it would be after winning a championship ring with the Golden State Warriors, and Toscano-Anderson didn’t miss an opportunity to do so.

“I’m at the upper echelon of my profession,” he said confidently, adding, “If you don’t have a ring, don’t talk to me!”

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