Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

2015 NBA All-Star Game features TCKs Gasol and Bryant

The 2015 National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star game, held in Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA, was broadcast to a global audience in 215 countries and in over 40 languages. The nearly two and a half hour contest set an All-Star game record with a combined 321 points scored and the West defeated the East 163-158. Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 41 points on 16-28 shooting, while also chipping in five rebounds and an assist en route to his first All-Star game MVP award.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James paced the East with 30 points while also tallying five rebounds and seven assists.

The All-Star game, which has featured players from countries like France (Tony Parker), Sudan (Luol Deng), Russia (Andrei Kirilenko) and Argentina (Manu Ginobli) in the past, featured the Gasol brothers (Marc and Pao) who hail from Spain. In addition to the pair of Spaniards, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant made the All-Star game for the 17th time in his career.

Both Marc Gasol and Kobe Bryant are Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Gasol moved to Germantown, Tennessee in his early teenage years from Barcelona, Spain after his older brother Pao, was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and later had his rights traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Interestingly enough, after being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 48th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft, Marc was part of a package traded to the Lakers from the Grizzlies for his brother Pao, which marked the first time in NBA history that brothers had been traded for each other.

Marc Gasol as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Marc Gasol as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia, PA but moved to Rieti, Italy after his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, left the NBA to continue playing professional basketball overseas. During his time in Italy, Bryant became fluid in both Italian and Spanish and returned each summer to the United States to play in summer basketball leagues. Bryant permanently returned to the US for high school and attended Lower Merion high school in Ardmore, Pennsylvania where he became a McDonald’s All-American and earned many other accolades. Bryant, despite interest from many top basketball programs around the nation, declared for the 1995 NBA draft where the Charlotte Hornets made him the first ever guard to be drafted out of high school with the 13th overall pick.

Kobe Bryant as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Kobe Bryant as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

By: eoneill23

Eric O'Neill is a junior at Colorado State University. He is majoring in Journalism and Technical Communication with a focus on PR. He loves sports and hopes to one day make a career out of it.