MADRID (FIBA U19 World Championship) - Spanish basketball fans can very much look forward to the FIBA U19 World Championship when they will see one of the best big men from the country in the past decade.
"He is perhaps the best big man in Spain in the last 10 years. In Spain it's difficult to look for big men," said Spanish U19 coach Luis Guil about the 19-year-old Madrid native.
"He rebounds so well. He's one of the best rebounders I have coached in my life. He plays very good in the post."
The 2.09m center Hernangomez showed his rebounding prowess early on in his international career, averaging 9.9 points and 8.7 rebounds a game at the 2010 U16 European Championship, including a monster game of 20 points and 23 rebounds against Turkey.
Hernangomez has played the last two summers at the U18 level, winning the 2011 European Championship crown alongside Alex Abrines while averaging 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds. In 2012, he collected 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds at the U18 European tournament in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Since then, Hernangomez has taken the next step, making his debut with Real Madrid's senior team - both in the Liga Endesa (6 games, 1.7 points, 0.8 rebounds in 4 minutes) and the Euroleague (3 games, 1.3 points, 1.0 rebounds in nearly 5 minutes).
Guil said his young center is still working well on improving his game.
"He's strong. He needs to work harder on defense and not commit so many fouls. Sometimes he makes silly fouls. He's progressing a lot on his shots from five or six meters. For him that will be good because then he can play outside the post as well," said Guil of Hernangomez, the son of former Estudiantes player Guillermo Hernangomez.
The son - nicknamed Willy - also showcased his skills at the Adidas EuroCamp in Treviso earlier in June.
"My main objective was to enjoy it and learn from the great coaches I had and show my game overall," said Hernangomez, who didn't start playing the game until he was about 13 years old.
"I met him when he was playing with Real Madrid (2011) and practiced with him in those days," said Hernangomez about his time with Ibaka earlier in the month.
"Serge was advising me on how to improve aspects of my game, especially technically and physically."
Hernangomez would love to eventually play with Ibaka at the same time - either on the court in the NBA and/or with the Spanish senior national team.
The young Spanish talent is definitely well on his way to reaching that point.