Today is Manu Ginobili Day in San Antonio--How Will You Celebrate?

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

Expect to see a lot of people wearing a Spurs number-20 jersey as the city celebrates Manu Ginobili day, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Let’s honor a player who exemplified grit, sportsmanship, and the pure joy of the game. Join us, sports fans," Mayor Ron Nirenberg tweeted out shortly after the Spurs star announced his retirement.

There is little doubt that Ginobili has been a huge star for the Spurs.  He's a four-time NBA champion, a two-time all-star and a NBA Sixth Man of the Year.  

But his impact on San Antonio goes well beyond the basketball court.

Along with Tony Parker and a small army of players from around the world, the Spurs gained a reputation as an international franchise that worked together to become winners.  That image rubbed off on San Antonio, which has also gained a reputation as a welcoming city, no matter where you're from.

"Any time we travel abroad, the first thing people ask us about is the Spurs," Cassandra Matej, head of Visit San Antonio, says.

Whether he knew it or not, she says Ginobili was an international ambassador for San Antonio

."There are stories of many Argentinians coming to San Antonio because of the Spurs."

Pat Frost, former chairman of the San Antonio Sports board, has a set of Russian nesting dolls, with one of them being Ginobili.

"That's just an example of how international the Spurs are," he says.

In the business world, he says San Antonio is seen as being full of nice people, and he thinks that's a direct result of the Spurs rubbing off on society.

"Because they're such class people like Manu."

PICTURE; GETTY IMAGES

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