Meet the Newbies: Aitor Zubizarreta


March 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Portland Pilots head coach Eric Reveno against the Loyola Marymount Lions before the game of the WCC Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Pilots only had one player graduate from last year’s team, leaving them with a roster filled with returning players. However, that player happened to be the Pilots’ starting point guard, Derrick Rodgers. The point guard is arguably the most important position on the basketball court, so the task of replacing that player is always daunting. Coach Eric Reveno may have found a player that can lessen the blow of the departure of Rodgers in Aitor Zubizarreta. Although he will have to compete with sophomore Bryce Pressley,  and incoming freshman Alec Wintering for playing time, there is no doubt with Zubizarreta’s skill set that he will contribute right away for the Pilots, even though Wintering is expected to be the starting point guard.


Zubizarreta is from the Basque country of Spain, and is experienced on both the club and national level. He played on the Spanish Youth National Team for the 2012 FIBA U-18 3-on-3, which was held in Spain. Xubi (SHEW-bee), as he is called, was a member of Spain’s U14, U15, and U16 national teams. Zubizarreta played for the Iraugi Saski Baloai (ISB), which participates in the LEB Silver Division in the Spanish League. His dad, José Luis, is a former Spanish professional basketball player and is the General Manager of the ISB club.

Xubi stands at 6’3”

In case you were wondering, this is the correct pronunciation of Aitor Zubizarreta’s name:

(EYE-tore SUBI-suh-ret-ah)

Impact this season

Zubizarreta is an enticing player that could surprise some people on the Bluff this year. This quote from Eric Reveno does a great job of summing up Xubi’s skill set: “He has a little bit of flair for making great plays and I think it will be a lot of fun to watch Xubi play. His ability to make plays off the dribble, both in transition and in the half court, will make him a great teammate as he seems to truly enjoy creating for others…” The Pilots backcourt does not sport any experienced point guards, and because of that Zubizarreta could make an impact right away for the Pilots. His versatility (can play the 1 and the 2) is another great asset to his game. Although redshirting is not out of the question, Aitor Zubizerreta is a player to keep an eye on this season if he does play.