This Sunday, the FC Porto Museum was visited by distinguished Dale Dover, one of the biggest glories in the history of white and blue basketball, in the decade of 1970. The former North-American player, who played for the Dragons for three seasons, and became champion in the first, came to “say hello” and remember that time when he played and filled the Portuguese pavilions. “I’m forever a fan, since 1971, when I arrived here”, the former player admitted.
“I have fond memories of FC Porto and of the time I spent here. I’m proud to return today, to say hello, and to visit the museum and Estádio do Dragão, two astonishing constructions”, Dover stated, who, curiously enough, returned to Porto just two days after the 44th birthday of the match against Carnide, when he scored 70 points (126-64). The former basketballer had the opportunity to, for the first time, see his statue in the Olympus of the Dragons, right at the entrance of the home that tells the story of the club, holding a ball that no one was ever able to take from him. Further ahead, he also found his athlete card, in one of the displays, which the Museum also holds.
More than 40 years have passed, but Dale Flash Dover, as he became known, remembers those times when the team composed of “Fernando Gomes, António Manuel, Dias Leite, Esteves, Gaspar, Alberto Babo and Licínio played beautiful basketball, spectacular”, and also the matches when he, single handily, would break the 60 points mark. “We played very well, despite facing great opponents such as Académica, Sporting, Benfica, and other teams from the old Portuguese colonies. On that season we were champions, in 1971/72, we only lost three matches”, Dover remembered, making a point of speaking in Portuguese, one of the several languages he knows.
Dover, now a lawyer in Washington, also assured he wishes to come back, “probably for the celebrations of São João”, to organize a basketball clinic with the support of FC Porto. And ended the interview with a message to the current white and blue team: “Play to win, and realise the game is bigger than ourselves. Basketball is a beautiful sport, so try to respect it by playing well, by putting on a show”.