Gregory (and Venezuela) heading to Rio

Echenique-the man, has developed into a very good Pro Player.

Venezuela Champ
Courtesy: FIBA Americas

Former Creighton center Gregory Echenique  graduated in May of 2013 with a degree in International Business.  A 6-foot-9 center from Guatire, Venezuela, Echenique averaged 10.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots in three years (101 games) with Creighton. Gregory Echenique became CU’s first player named MVC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12 and is the only player in program history to earn three honors on The Valley’s All-Defensive Team. He twice was named to the MVC’s All-Tournament Team, and earned honorable-mention All-MVC accolades following his senior year with the Bluejays.  Creighton went 75-26 with Gregory in the line-up, including back-to-back MVC Tournament titles (2012 & 2013), the 2012-13 MVC regular-season title, and wins in the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Tournaments.

Although not drafted by the NBA (2013), he received good marks from workouts with the Boston Celtics and others, and played in the NBA Summer League for the Toronto Raptors organization that year. Never one to complain Gregory took his skills to Europe.

Gregory signed to play for Neckar RIESEN Ludwigsburg of the Basketball Bundesliga, in Germany. In his lone 2013 season with Riesen, the team improved from 17th to 8th in league standings and competed in the leagues’ Quarterfinal Playoff Round.

In 2014 he signed with Telenet Oostende in Belgium, of the Scooore League , top flight basketball Belgian and the third European competition, the FIBA European Cup.  BC Oostende (BCO) is a perennial contender and champion in Belgium and 2014 was no different.  The team won its league, the Cup Basketball Belgium Championship, and the Belgium Supercup Championships.

In 2015 Echenique was selected as rookie of the year in the Professional Basketball League Venezuela (LPB)(top level) with team Guaros de Lara. He was selected to play in the league’s All-Star game.  The club finished 3rd in the regular season and reached the Finals of the LPB in 2015.  Guaros de Lara won the FIBA Americas League Playoff Championship in 2016. Other notable players: Nestor Colmenares, Tu Holloway.


Gregory E 22
Courtesy: DirecTV Sports

Gregory Echenique has already established himself at the international level, playing for the Venezuelan National Team in both the 2009 and 2011 FIBA Americas Tournament, as well as the 2012 Olympic Qualifier. In those events, he went head-to-head against NBA big men Al Horford, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni, Renaldo Balkman, Tiago Splitter and Charlie Villanueva, among others.  Venezuela is a rising power in both FIBA Americas and FIBA International basketball.  In addition to the past international laurels, Gregory’s Venezuela team just won the FIBA Americas Sudamerican Championship for the second consecutive year (2015 and 2016).  As such Venezuela (FIBA world rank – 22nd), is an automatic qualifier for and should be a major contender on the Olympic stage later this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Way to go Big Fella…Just win, baby!