Ante Tomic reached 500 games played in Liga ACB

Saturday’s ACB League game versus Breogan was special for Ante Tomic. The Croatian center of Joventut Badalona helped his team win while almost ending the game with a double-double (13 points, 9 rebounds). Still, he also reached two important milestones: he became the second foreign player in the Spanish League’s history to reach 500 games played in the ACB and he also reached 3000 rebounds, just the fifth player ever to do so.

Tomic currently has 3002 rebounds and is exceeded in the all-time rankings only by Felipe Reyes, Granger Hall, Carlos Jimenez and Claude Riley.

The Croatian player was 23 years when he left Zagreb and signed with Spanish giants Real Madrid. Shortly after he became an essential player for Los Blancos, being named to the All-Liga Team (the best five of the ACB League) in the 2010-2011 season. The season after that he helped Real win the Copa del Rey, but surprisingly his contract was not extended by the team from the Spanish capital. Instead, in a shocking move, he signed with Real’s biggest rival FC Barcelona.

In the eight seasons he played in Catalunya, Tomic became one of the most dominating centers in European basketball. He was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team two seasons in a row and he was included three more times in the All-ACB Team, winning several Player of the Month awards. He won the ACB League only once with Barca (in 2014) and after his contract with the Blaugrana ended in 2020, the sides decided to part ways.

The Croatian didn’t move far from Barcelona, as he signed with Joventut Badalona, a historic team that is trying to get back where it belongs, in the elite of Spanish basketball and maybe in the EuroLeague. And Ante Tomic, who is 35 now, is an important part of this project in Badalona, where he is one of the team’s veteran leaders.

Imre Halasz

Image credit: Liga ACB