Many Mexicans are lovers of the NBA and its games. However, it’s well documented that Latino Players are lacking. Of NBA players in the league, only 2% are Latino, and the NBA is hyper-focused on getting more Latinos in the league.
An Afro-Mexican American Warrior
Juan Toscano-Anderson was watching the first time Lebron James and Steph Curry met in the NBA Finals. Then, as a recent college graduate, he was just another fan in the Golden State Warriors’ crowd. He watched the rest of the series from home and was at home in the Bay Area when the Golden State Warriors won the championship.
Who is Juan Toscano-Anderson?
Juan Ronel-Toscano Anderson (a.k.a JTA) was born in Oakland, CA. His mother is Mexican American, and his father is African American.
After going undrafted in 2015, he played for the Soles de Mexicali, Bucaneros de la Guaira, Fuerza Regia de Monterrey, and Santa Cruz Warriors. In February 2020, Toscano signed a three-year deal with the Golden State Warriors. In May of 2021, Toscano-Anderson’s two-way contract was converted to a full-time NBA contract.
Toscano-Anderson is currently in his second season with the Warriors and has become a LOVED player. Because he’s the product of East Oakland and grew up near the Oracle Arena with his Mexican grandparents and “bulletproof” mother, he’s an inspiring Latinx story. In addition, he’s the first Afro-Mexican in the NBA’s history. He has since become the source of the best Warrior Highlights of 2021.
The NBA’s first Mexican American Coach
Although the percentages of Latinos in the NBA are low, some Mexican Americans, like JTA, have seen success in the league. For example, Kalen Canales became the first Mexican American head coach in 2011-2012 with the Portland Trail Blazers. He is currently the Assistant Coach for the Indiana Pacers.
Who is Kaleb Canales?
We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is “no,” he’s not the son of Johnny Canales.
Kaleb was born in Laredo, Texas, to Mexican parents. Laredo is known as a heavily Mexican populated city that is working class and on the Mexican Border.
In 2012, Canales was presented the first-ever “Laredo Favorite Son” by Mayor Raul G. Salinas, who said, “This is a young man who has made history – made history for our community, for our city, and someone that just has a delightful heart.”