UMN Crookston Athletics - Former Golden?Eagle playing pro ball at home in Spain
Former University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball player Javier Nicolau (Castellon, Spain) has signed a contract to play for C.B. Benicarlo of LEB Silver, the third basketball division of the Spanish basketball league system. He is the first Golden Eagle player in recent history to sign with a professional basketball league.
Nicolau played three seasons for Head Coach Dan Weisse at Minnesota Crookston. He amassed 405 points, 302 rebounds, and 99 blocks over his time in the Maroon and Gold. He was a member of the three most successful teams in Golden Eagle history as UMN Crookston had their best three-year run from 2017-20. Nicolau helped the Golden Eagles to their first-ever appearance at the NSIC/Sanford Health quarterfinals after a historic upset of 2016 National Champion Augustana. He started 27 games as a senior for the Golden Eagles, averaging 7.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. His best performance came with a double-double of 18 points and 10 boards against Waldorf. Nicolau tallied 12 points versus Concordia University-St. Paul.
C.B. Benicarlo is located in Benicarlo, Spain, a part of the Valencian Community, located on the Mediterranean Coast. They went 7-18 during the 2019-20 season. The squad plays their home games at Poliesportiu Municipal. The squad moved up from the fourth division of Spanish basketball, Liga EBA, after posting a 15-11 mark and finishing second during the 2018-19 slate. They are coached by Jordi Adell.
Nicolau came to the Golden Eagles prior to the 2017-18 season, after playing two seasons at UCAM Murcia in Murcia, Spain, where he averaged 7.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Benicarlo, Spain, is located just 50 miles from his hometown of Castellon, Spain.