How Leandro Barbosa succeeded in developing the Warriors project to pick Gui Santos’ dream in the NBA in Brazil

The future of Brazilian basketball has become an expert in American pop culture: movies, TV shows, and even hit songs.

During his first professional season in the Brazilian Premier League, then 16-year-old Santos asked his most famous teammate, NBA Player of the Year Leandro Barbosa, what he had to do to reach the highest level in the sport. . Barbosa offered a laundry list of tips that included working hard and responding to criticism, but one of the highlights resonated with Santos: learn English.

As he answered questions Friday along with fellow Golden State project picks Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins during an introductory press conference at the Chase Center, Santos spoke fluent English — a testament to his many hours of studying American film, television and music. Watching in the crowd, Barbosa, now a coach for the Warriors players, felt like a proud father.

When he met Santos Barbosa in fall 2018, his NBA dream was just a dream. Now, thriving in one of South America’s best prospects, Santos hopes to make that fantasy a reality.