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Scott Gomez

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Scott Gomez

"It's an honor being the first Latino to play in the NHL, I'm sure there will more to follow" – Scott Gomez



Scott Gomez was born December 23, 1979 in Anchorage, Alaska. His father, Carlos Gomez, a native of Mexico, moved to Anchorage from San Diego in 1972 so he could take a construction job. It was in Alaska where Carlos met and married Dalia, a native of Colombia, who moved there from New York where she lived with her aunt. He is the first ice hockey player of Mexican-American descent to play in the NHL. Gomez was drafted 27th overall in the first round by the New Jersey Devils. He was awarded the Calder Trophy in his rookie career in the NHL scoring 51 assists and 70 points for New Jersey and played in the 2000 All-Star Game. Scoring 10 points in the 2000 NHL Playoffs, he helped the Devils win their second Stanley Cup. His NHL career stats so far are exemplary, scoring 116 goals, 334 assists, and 450 points. As of July 1st, 2007, Gomez signed a $51.5 million, seven-year contract with the New York Rangers.



Gomez was a stand-out and he worked hard on becoming even a better player. He would spend hours after school playing hockey perfecting his slap shot. But there were obstacle he had to overcome outside of hockey. Scott was often the target of racial slurs because of the rarity of his culture in the sport. When he played for the "Select 16 USA Team," there were kids from different countries playing against each other, but he was the only one of Hispanic descent and he heard racist comments from opposing players. One of the most vivid events was when a player of Asian heritage called Scott a "Spic" during a playoff game. At first, he didn't know what it meant, so he asked his mother and she told him. At first, it hurt him but then he just laughed it off because he knew he was going somewhere in hockey and those racial comments were usually coming from the worst player on the ice. When Gomez was drafted in 1999 by the Devils he also became a pioneer by becoming the first Latino ever to be drafted in the NHL. Scott, who doesn't speak fluent Spanish but understands it well, is still honored and proud of having that rare distinction. "It's something I'm proud of" said Scott. "It's a great honor being the first Mexican-American to play in the NHL.




Gomez has broken the racial barrier for the NHL. Although he is not the first minority to be in the NHL, he is the first Mexican-American to play. Aside from his NHL career, Gomez had a walk-on role on One Life To Live in 2000 and started a foundation, the Scotty Gomez Foundation, for kids that can’t afford to play hockey. He also played for the United States in the XX Olympic Winter Games.



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