Photo by Lizzimba
|No. 70 – Retired|
|Species||Degu ( Octodontidae )|
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
|School||Pajaro Fuego Madrid, Spain|
|FBA draft||2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 25th overall|
|Selected by the Albany Alphas|
|Pro playing career||2013–2020|
|2013-Jan 2015||Williamsburg Minutemen|
|Jan 2015-Nov 2015||Montana Howlers|
|Nov 2015-present||Bangor Tides|
|Career highlights and awards|
|2020 Salary||$5.5 million|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Diego Imperio was ranked #10 in the 2013 Draft Candidate Combine.
The Pajaro Fuego Academy in Spain is sending four picks for consideration for this years FBA Draft, and the most notable from the city of Madrid is the young degu (brush tailed rat) forward Diego Imperio. Lauded by many in the cosmopolitan city, Diego Imperio tends to shun the limelight and prefers to concentrate on his game which is simply racking up decent scores of points. Diego has rarely been the top point scorer in games, but has a strange record of managing to finish second in scoring for his team nearly every time, making him an ideal support player and one dependable for grabbing points.
Extremely enthusiastic about basketball from a young age - Diego would consistently outdribble players much older then he, and it was obvious to his parents at least he had a god given talent. However, without support no talent can be realised, and it was with a bit of local press coverage that happened by sheer fluke that his attention came to the Madrid Acedemy and they came in straight away with an offer. A tough but gutsy decision to leave Valencia at the age of nine saw the young degu board with the school in Madrid, and indeed he is the only current player who has been with the academy since such a young age, others in the first generation simply not being good enough to last the course or seduced by better offers elsewhere.
Imperio has a great range on the court, tight dribbles and a much better propensity for scoring 3 pointers then maybe he should have, but it is his clinical finishing of 2 pointers that mark him out. Poor at dunking however, the rat needs to make sure his aiming is on key otherwise he has little in the way of power play to power through the times when hes slightly off song.
Imperio has every chance of making a big name for himself in the bright lights, but it will depend on him making those best moves better and those weaknesses a strength
Diego is well known in the FBA as one of the most painfully nice guys in basketball. Incapable of saying a bad word about anyone, Diego has an enthusiasm and happiness that anyone would find affectionate even if at time it makes him look a bit dorky and makes him a bit of a natural walkover. The degu shocked the international press when it turned out he was dating fellow basketballer Aracely Sanchez (C) and they currently share a long distance relationship.
Diego spent most of his rookie season coming off the bench as one of several Minutemen guards, averaging 7.6 points per game with a .375 three-point shooting percentage. However many would agree that his rookie season was fairly disappointing. He also struggled to adapt to the English language which occasionally caused Diego embarrassing moments on social media. Off the court, the defy lacked confidence, and this manifested itself in a failed attempt to win the affections of franchise player Vera La Tierra, in a relationship with fellow player Leonard Mack. Diego's inexperience in love overshadowed his time on the franchise, but despite this when it did come time to leave the franchise, the degu's infectious likeability ensured he left on good terms.
Imperio being traded was no suprise, but the destination being the fierce locker room of the Howlers was a shock to many at the time, many suspecting the innocent kangaroo rat would be eaten alive. However, the defy formed a huge bond with coach Franklin O'Neil who took him under his wing. The result was a much improved performance from Imperio, and he helped the Howlers into the playoffs, even occasionally starting.
It was around this time Diego got the terrible news that his former coach and father figure at the Pajaro Fuego Academy, Paulista Roberto Pamplona had been found dead. Devestated, the degu flew to Madrid for the funeral, only to discover Coach Pamplona has left the entire Academy to him. The business is currently run by employees of Imperio until his career finishes. As he has had an enormous fortune land in his lap, Diego is less motivated by money than many players in the FBA, prefering to follow his heart.
Diego Imperio was part of the Spanish team that stunned the world by reaching the Grand Final of World Jam. However the final was sullied by Diego missing a crucial basket in overtime that allowed Great Britain to break and win. One of the enduring images of the tournament is the degu crying into the tarmac on the court and inconsolable. However the game did make him a folk hero back in Spain, and is Diego's career highlight to date.
One is the suprises of the 2915 off season was the refusal of Montana to offer a contract to Imperio. Asa result he moved to the Bangor Tides on a much improved contract. This turned out to be a good move for Imperio as he has now ended up playing regular minutes on arguably the best team in the FBA.
2013 - 2014 Regular Season Stats
2014 - 2015 Regular Season Stats
2015 - 2016 Regular Season Stats
2016 - 2017 Regular Season Stats