JJ’s athletic streak runs in his family. We already commented that his paternal uncles were outstanding basketball players in Spain, and especially in Zaragoza, with Fernando Arcega being a silver medalist at the Los Angeles 84 Olympics. In that final he faced Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing. Years later his brother Pepe also faced them in the Barcelona 92 Olympics.
But this time we are going to focus on JJ’s parents. Joaquín and Valorie. They have also been basketball players, and they have also been outstanding.
Joaquín has been a basketball globetrotter. He has played for both teams in Spain and Portugal. In this he was cup and league champion with the Estrelas de Avenida team. A young team that surprised everyone with its freshness and determination, and Joaquín was the MVP of both the cup final and the playoffs for the title.
But as we mentioned, Joaquín has previously been in several ACB, LEB and EBA teams. From Bilbao, passing through Zaragoza, Gijón, Guadalajara, Andorra, and over Galicia. There he was three years. There he met Valorie, who was playing for the Coruña team, just like him. Joaquín promoted the city team from 2nd division to 1st B (Actual LEB), and then he was signed by DYC Breogan, a team from the Lugo ACB, where he coincided with mythical figures such as Claude Riley and Velimir Perasovic.
Then he went through the Festina Andorra, where he had to have a herniated disc surgery. Operation that marked his future in that team, where he coincided with the LLorente brothers.
He returned to Zaragoza, once the CB disappeared. Zaragoza, and he played one year at Helios, the year in which JJ was born, 1996. Then he went to Portugal to win the cup and the league as we have mentioned before.
And Valorie has been one of the best basketball players, not only in Spain or Portugal, but in the US. She holds the college record for the Southern conference, where she played between 1984 and 1988. He holds the record for points, 2944, and no one has come close to that mark yet.
When she arrived in Spain she played for Dorna Godella, being the top scorer in the league, then she went to Coruña, went through the old Banco Zaragozano, and always adapted to the offers that Joaqín accepted. They were married in 1995 in Zaragoza, and since then they have been inseparable, where they have been together in Spain, Portugal, and of course in South Carolina, Valorie’s native state and where they currently reside.