The story of how Leandro Barbosa got from Brazilian poverty to NBA riches is chronicled in one of my favorite things that has ever been on TrueHoop, Gregory Dole's 11-part "Rolling with Leandro" series. Now that Barbosa is a millionaire, he's going to no small amount of trouble, with the help of his brother Artur, to smooth the path for future Brazilian prodigies, investing in facilities and training that could make the difference for future NBA players.
The Barbosas are particularly excited about one prospect in particular, named Alexandre Parnhos, who is eligible for the 2013 NBA draft, but barely on anybody's radar. Artur just sent me this e-mail, which I'm pasting here verbatim, with Artur's permission:
It s nice to talk with you again, is Artur Barbosa, the older brother of Leandro Barbosa.
I am writing to tell you about a Brazilian player that my brother and I discovered in Brazil. The boy' s name is Alexandre Paranhos.
He is from the same neighborhood in Sao Paulo as my brother and we saw him six years ago and were shocked because he had a physique like Lebron James.We immediately started trainning him to play basketball and registered him with Palmeiras basketball club.
He has come a long way.Leandro would train him whenever he could during the NBA off - season.
Everything Leandro would learn from NBA coaches he would pass onto Alexandre.
Alexandre has really developed over the past 12-14 months. He was the star of the Liga Desenvolvimento Olimpico (LDO), which is the second most important league in Brazil. I put a copy of the national champioship game on youtube.
Yesterday he worked out in Houston for the Rockets.To see that I am not exaggerating about him having Lebron' s physique, his measurements from today yesterday were:
Weight: 241 lbs
After the workout I met people from the Rockets and I think they were very impressed with Alexandre.
I was not in the workout but I known there are not many players with Alexandre's body and athleticism in the world.And after so many years training ballhandling with Leandro, I also known there are not many guys at any position with Alexandre 's ballhandling because he learned from the best.
Alexandre was the best three-point shooter in the LDO as well. He had a game last year where he made six threes. I can send you this game tape. This is very impressive for a guy who also plays power forward.
I would love to tell you more about Alexandre.Hopefully we can find a time to talk.
Thank you for your time and attention!
This is where the draft gets very interesting. Mostly it's a known list of players. But at the edges, there are surprises. Some of them (remember Ian Mahinmi on draft night?) turn into real-deal NBA players. Some of them come and go without making a mark.
That's why the job of NBA GM is tough. The task is to get as many players as possible who are likely to help your team. Where does Alexandre Parnhos fall? Who knows?