Q&A: Charlie Villanueva

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 with No comments
Courtesy of Danny Baez

How do you feel being a part of the small group of Dominican players that have made it into the NBA? (Only 6 Dominicans have ever made it, with only 3 currently active). 
Es un honor ser parte de ese grupo de Dominicanos that have been in the NBA. Big shout outs to Tito Hartford who was the pioneer, el primer Dominicano. It’s an honor as well to have a son representing Dominicans in the All-Star game [Hawks center Al Horford]. Dominicans have come a long way in the NBA, and the Latin community in general. As you see, there’s more Latinos coming into the NBA every year so that’s definitely an honor and I’m glad that I’m a part of it, it’s a blessing.
You’re also the only Dominican of all of them that was born in the U.S.
Yeah, being a New Yorker but raised by Dominican parents y comiendo platanos, salchicha y queso frito — I’m excited that the All-Star game is here in New York.
10 years, 4 teams — how do you adapt?
La NBA es un negocio, you know? And I learned that early in my career when I got traded after my first year. I thought I had a great season in Toronto and then bam, it just happens. And I was only 21 years old, so I had to learn that this is a business, un negocio. So, four teams, ten years — you know, I feel blessed that it’s been 10 years. And I’m only 30, I still got a long way to go, God willing. But the average career in the NBA is maybe 3 years, so the fact that I’m here for 10 is definitely a blessing.
Are we ever going to see you in a Dominican jersey again, representing the country in any national tournament?
Definitely. Soy Dominicano de sangre, you know, so para representar mi país that’s something that I always wanna do. I’m Dominican and to wear that jersey, representing myself and my parents and the whole Latin community — Dominicans especially — is an honor and I’m definitely looking forward to putting it on again.
Anthony Santos or Romeo Santos?
If you asked my mom she’d say Anthony Santos, but me, you know, a new generation — I’m gonna stick to what I know, and that’s Romeo.