When an athlete, Wlamir Marques he received nicknames such as “Diabo Blonde” and “Disco Voador”, for his ability to fly on the courts. Now, he has finally landed where he deserves to be. The former Brazilian player is one of the 2023 nominees for the Basketball Hall of Fame of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
The nomination was confirmed this Thursday, May 25, 2023, at an event held by the Brazilian Basketball Confederation (CBB), and the date could not be more symbolic: today is the celebration of the 60 years of the world championship of the Brazilian basketball team. At the time, Wlamir was the MVP (most valuable player) of the competition and the main name of the team that won every game.
“It was a beautiful victory over time when it had already run out. Persistence showed his strength in taking me beyond the impossible. FIBA went back and looked for forgotten merits in my past. The past will never die, it will only change shelves”, wrote the former athlete on his Facebook page.
At the age of 85, Wlamir Marques becomes the 12th Brazilian in the Basketball Hall of Fame (see list below), the fourth of the most successful generation in the country. Since 2021, he has been part of the Hall of Fame created by the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) for the most outstanding athletes in the history of Brazil.
The title delivery ceremony will take place on the eve of the Basketball World Cup 2023, which will be held between August 25th and September 10th with games between Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. Due to the difficulty of getting around, Wlamir Marques will not be able to travel to Asia and will not be present.
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Two-time world champion and Olympic medals: the achievements of Wlamir Marques
Beside Amaury PasosWlamir Marques was the great exponent of the team known as “golden generation” of Brazilian basketball. Between 1954 and 1970, the country won a second championship (1959 and 1963), two runners-up (1954 and 1970) and a bronze (1967) in five editions of the World Cup, in addition to two bronze medals at the Olympic Games in Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964 .
Wlamir was in almost all the conquests – he just wasn’t part of the bronze medalist team in the 1967 World Cup. In addition, he holds impressive individual feats. Currently, he is the fifth highest scorer in the history of the Olympic Gameswith 537 points – the first he played in a season without three-pointers.
“I’m a two-time world champion and a two-time Olympic bronze medalist. I was also world runner-up twice, which many people forget. These achievements make me the most awarded player in the country, because Amaury, instead of two runners-up, has a runner-up and a bronze”, he explained in a statement to UOL in 2021.
Wlamir Marques made history at XV de Piracicaba and at Corinthians
Wlamir Marques was born in São Vicente, on the coast of São Paulo, on July 16, 1937. He began his career at Clube de Regatas Tumiaru, but as a teenager he went to XV of Piracicaba, which would soon become one of the top clubs in the state. There, he would win the Campeonato Paulista in 1957 and 1960 – the first for a team from the interior.
In 1962 he started to play in the Corinthians, where he made history. There were ten years at the club, totaling five São Paulo championships, three Brazilian championships and three South American ones. So many accomplishments made the club rename its gymnasium in 2016 with the name of the former athlete. In 1973, he ended his career at Tênis Clube de Campinas.
After retiring, he remained connected to basketball. He was a coach and managed Palmeiras (he was one of those responsible for taking Oscar Schmidt to the youth of the team in the 1970s). He was also a physical education teacher and, in recent years, has acted as a commentator on ESPN Brasil.
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Basketball Hall of Fame: check out the Brazilian representatives
The nomination of Wlamir Marques corrects a historical injustice. He was the only symbol of the two-time world champion generation not yet on the list. Now, the country has twelve personalities in the FIBA Basketball Hall of Fame. Check the list:
Antonio Carlos Barbosa
Togo Renan Soares (“Kanela”)
Managers and referees
Jose Claudio dos Reis
Antonio dos Reis Carneiro
Furthermore, there is also the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, which bears the last name of the creator of basketball, James Naismith, and which has a vast collection of publications on the sport, in addition to preserving its values. In it, there are three Brazilians present: Hortência, Ubiratan Maciel and Oscar Schmidt.
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