Carl English's biggest fan has never been to Canada
Laura Gonzalez first saw the St. John's Edge basketball star in Gran Canaria in 2007
Laura Gonzalez's home in Gran Canaria, Spain, is a long way from Mile One Centre in St. John's, but the distance doesn't stop her supporting her favourite player.
After winning a title in Croatia, Carl English moved to Spain and signed with Club Baloncesto Gran Canaria in 2007, when Gonzalez was just 11.
"Since that moment I started being more of a fan of basketball, because when you were in the arena, everyone loved the way that he played," Gonzalez, now 21, told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.
Eight years ago, English left Gran Canaria for Vitoria-Gasteiz to play for the Baskonia team.
Gonzalez, who was 13 at the time, wanted to follow his career, so she started up the Carl English Fans Club website, posting in both English and Spanish.
It’s GAMEDAY at Mile One Centre!<br><br>🏆 NBL Canada<br>🆚 London Lightning<br>🕢 7:00 PM (NST)<br>📺 <a href="https://t.co/GIDx3DMlCy">https://t.co/GIDx3DMlCy</a><br>🎟 <a href="https://t.co/WqLZXXh42l">https://t.co/WqLZXXh42l</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/allfor23?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#allfor23</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DefendTheRock?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DefendTheRock</a> <a href="https://t.co/tTPGRRGBsE">pic.twitter.com/tTPGRRGBsE</a>—@CarlEnglish_Web
Fans from all over the world are enthusiastic about the player from Patrick's Cove, N.L.
"He has a very big elegance in his movements on the court," Gonzalez said.
"He has a really great way to do his shots. He [can make] the atmosphere of the game more intense."
Since she's trying to become a teacher and is attending Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gonzalez doesn't have much time to work on the website these days and shifted her focus to social media.
Over the past few years, Golzalez noticed more and more fans from Newfoundland and Labrador following her accounts on Twitter and Facebook.
He's a really hard worker and it's amazing how he has overcome things in his life.- Laura Gonzalez
Gonzalez posts game times and where to watch them, and often has pictures from the game and English's statistics.
When asked why she continues to follow him, she remembers the first time she saw him play and the influence he had on the court in her home country.
"Here, people see him like an inspiration. He's a really hard worker and it's amazing how he has overcome things in his life," she said.
"Everyone loves him here."