Santi Aldama

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Santi Aldama
No. 34 – Loyola Greyhounds
PositionPower forward / Center
LeaguePatriot League
Personal information
Born (2001-01-10) 10 January 2001 (age 20)
Las Palmas, Spain
NationalitySpanish
Listed height2.11 m (6 ft 11 in)
Listed weight97.5 kg (215 lb)
Career information
High schoolCanterbury Academy
(Las Palmas, Spain)
CollegeLoyola (Maryland) (2019–present)
Career highlights and awards
Medals
Men's basketball
Representing  Spain
FIBA U18 European Championship
Gold medal – first place 2019 Greece Team

Santiago "Santi" Aldama Toledo (born 10 January 2001) is a Spanish college basketball player for the Loyola Greyhounds of the Patriot League. He was named most valuable player (MVP) of the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship.

Early life and career[edit]

Aldama was brought up in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain. He started playing basketball at age three because his father and uncle played the sport professionally.[1] Aldama grew up idolizing basketball players Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, and Kobe Bryant.[1][2]

Since his introduction to basketball, Aldama played for Canterbury Basketball Academy in Las Palmas and later chose to remain there, despite receiving offers from bigger clubs like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Gran Canaria.[3] At the 2017 Spanish Under-16 Championship, he averaged 18.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, playing for Canterbury alongside Oumar Ballo. He helped his team to a surprising third-place finish behind FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.[3] In 2018, Aldama played on loan for the FC Barcelona under-18 team at Ciutat de L'Hospitalet qualifiers in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament.[4]

Recruiting[edit]

On 5 August 2019, Aldama committed to move to the United States and play college basketball for Loyola–Maryland, a mid-major program that competes in the Patriot League. He was drawn to the school because his father knew assistant coach Ivo Simović and due to Aldama's hopes of an eventual business career, and he felt comfortable when he visited the school in June.[5][6] Considered a four-star recruit and a high-major talent, Aldama's decision to play for a mid-major program took many analysts by surprise. Evan Daniels of 247Sports called him "one of the biggest college-bound international steals in quite a while."[7]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Santiago Aldama
PF
Spain Canterbury Academy 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Aug 5, 2019 
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   RivalsN/A   247Sports:4/5 stars
Overall recruiting rankings:   247Sports: 61
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2019 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved 8 October 2019.

College career[edit]

Aldama missed the first three months of his freshman season with a knee injury that required surgery.[8] He made his collegiate debut for Loyola–Maryland on February 1, 2020, scoring 11 points in 17 minutes in a 79–73 win over Navy.[9] Aldama was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week three times in the span of four weeks.[10] At the end of the regular season, he was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team.[11] On March 3, he scored a season-high 23 points in a 78–75 loss to Lehigh in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament.[12] Aldama averaged 15.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 blocks in 10 games as a freshman.[13] On February 13, 2021, he posted 30 points and 22 rebounds in a 97–94 triple overtime loss to Lafayette. He set the program record and matched Adonal Foyle's Patriot League record for rebounds in a game.[14]

Aldama declared for the 2021 NBA Draft in April 2021 but maintaining college eligibility.

National team career[edit]

Aldama made his national team debut for Spain at the 2017 FIBA U16 European Championship in Podgorica, Montenegro, averaging nine points and 5.4 rebounds per game.[15] He led his team to a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship in Volos, Greece, averaging 18 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.9 steals per game. Aldama was named tournament most valuable player (MVP) and joined his teammate Usman Garuba on the All-Star Five.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Aldama's father, Santiago Aldama, played professional basketball in Spain and Portugal and joined the Spanish national team at the 1992 Summer Olympics.[5] His uncle Santiago Toledo also played professional basketball in Spain, Italy, and Portugal.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Eurohopes interviews Santi Aldama". Eurohopes. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Sáez, Faustino (6 August 2019). "Santi Aldama, el extraño portento". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b "Sobran los genes: Uno de los grandes proyectos nacionales jugará con el Barça en la Euroliga Junior" (in Spanish). KIA en Zona. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Aldama, Santiago". EuroLeague. Retrieved 9 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b Lee, Edward (22 August 2019). "Freshman Santi Aldama one of nation's 'biggest recruiting steals' for Loyola Maryland men's basketball". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 30 September 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Spain's Aldama wants a business career to match his highlight-producing basketball potential". FIBA. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Daniels, Evan; Gershon, Josh (5 August 2019). "Notable college prospects at the FIBA u18 European Championships". 247Sports. Retrieved 8 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Lee, Edward (5 November 2019). "Prized recruit Santi Aldama out indefinitely for Loyola Maryland men's basketball after knee surgery". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 6 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Lorensen, Nick (19 February 2020). "Spanish phenom Santi Aldama is leading a turn around at Loyola (MD)". Mid Major Madness. Retrieved 6 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Aldama Earns Second-Straight Patriot League Weekly Award". Loyola University Maryland Athletics. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Loyola's Andrew Kostecka Earns All-Patriot League First Team, Three Tabbed To Rookie Team". Press Box Online. Loyola University Maryland Athletics. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Lehigh tops Loyola (Md.) 78-75 in Patriot first round". Associated Press. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Ashley, Mike (30 November 2020). "Loyola Men's Basketball Aiming To Take Next Step Behind Sophomore Class". Press Box Online. Retrieved 1 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Aldama Breaks School Rebound Record, But Lafayette Wins In Triple Overtime". Loyola University Maryland Athletics. February 13, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  15. ^ "Santiago Aldama's profile: 2017 FIBA U16 European Championship". FIBA. Retrieved 9 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Unstoppable Aldama headlines the All-Star Five of the FIBA U18 European Championship". FIBA. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Two Sign National Letters Of Intent With Loyola Men's Basketball". Loyola University Maryland. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]