Gasol's mother, Marisa, was a medical doctor, and his father, Agustí, was a nurse administrator. When Pau was born, his family was living in Cornellà, but he was born in Barcelona, at Sant Pau Hospital, where both of his parents worked. When he was six years old, his family moved to another Barcelona suburb, Sant Boi de Llobregat, where he spent the remainder of his childhood. His parents moved to the Memphis suburb of Germantown, Tennessee, after he signed with the Grizzlies, and enrolled his younger brothers Marc and Adrià in Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis. They planned to move to the Los Angeles area when Pau was traded to the Lakers, with Agustí accepting a job with a health-care company in that area; although the Grizzlies obtained the rights to Marc's services as part of the trade, he was expected to re-sign with his Spanish team Akasvayu Girona. However, when Marc decided to sign with the Grizzlies, their parents chose to stay in Germantown. Agustí now works from home for the same company, while Marisa now volunteers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Since being traded to the Lakers, Gasol lives in Redondo Beach, across the street from the shoreline.
In 2009, Gasol, along with several other NBA players, joined the Hoops for St. Jude charity program benefitting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Gasol was never interested in football, but loved basketball. The first sport he played was actually rugby, before switching to basketball. He is described as "a family boy and the perfect student, a tad shy, and a bit of a joker."
He originally did not want to make sports his career. On the day that Magic Johnson announced his HIV-positive status in 1991, the 11-year-old Gasol, who had heard the news in school, decided that he wanted to be a doctor and find a cure for AIDS. He enrolled in medical school at the University of Barcelona, but left as his basketball career at FC Barcelona advanced. He remains strongly interested in medicine. Gasol regularly visits Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, a standard stop for athletes making charitable visits in the L.A. area, but does not limit his business to visiting young patients. On one visit, he asked a group of doctors well-informed questions about their treatment of children with scoliosis. In April 2010, Gasol was scheduled to sit in on a spinal surgery, wearing surgical scrubs, with Dr. David Skaggs, the hospital's chief of orthopedic surgery. Skaggs has said, "We talk to him now almost like he is a surgical colleague."
Gasol canceled his original plans to observe a surgery when he came down with a low-grade fever the day before the operation, not wishing to risk infecting anyone at the hospital. He was able to reschedule his observation for June 2010, witnessing Skaggs lead a team operating on a 13-year-old girl from Colorado with scoliosis.
Gasol also has a broad range of intellectual and cultural interests. He has taught himself Italian and French to go along with his childhood languages of Catalan and Spanish plus English. He and Kobe Bryant speak to one another during games in Spanish to keep opponents from knowing their plans. Gasol also regularly reads historical novels, plays the works of French classical composers on his keyboard, and attends concerts and operas; he is a friend of Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo, and often visits him backstage after performances.
His younger brother Marc, who is 216 centimetres (7 ft 1 in) tall and 127 kilograms (280 lb), is also a professional basketball player, currently playing for the Memphis Grizzlies. Marc was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, 48th overall, in the 2007 NBA Draft and his rights were traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, as part of the deal that sent Gasol to the Lakers. Their youngest brother Adrià played for Lausanne's basketball team; his coach at Lausanne said, "He's built like Pau, with a mean streak like Marc," although he was not at the time considered a major basketball prospect. After returning to Spain for his final two years of high school basketball, Adrià enrolled at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in August 2012 and joined the UCLA basketball team as a walk on.
Gasol denied false reports that he had broken up with his girlfriend, Silvia Lopez Castro, in the exit interviews after his poor performance in the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
Read more about this topic: Pau Gasol
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