Esteban Damian Batista Hernandez was born September 2, 1983 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was raised in Playa Pascual, a suburb of Montevideo. Batista began his basketball career in Uruguay He played in 2001-02 with Welcome in the National League (Uruguay), and put up 6.2 ppg and 4.5 rpg in 22 games. He played for Salto Uruguay in 2002-03, and averaged 16.4 ppg over 28 games. He played in 23 games for Pozuelo (Spain), where he averaged 8.9 ppg and 7.4 rpg He also played in four games at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He spent most of 2003-04 with Trouville (Montevideo, Uruguay), playing in 40 games and averaging 20.1 ppg and 15.0 rpg during the regular season. He also played in two games with Liceo Mixto Los Andes (Chile) and with the Uruguayan National Team in the South American Tournament in Brazil. In 2004, he was nominated as the best basketball player in the country by the Uruguayan Olympic Committee. In 2004-05, Batista played in eight games with Aguas de Calpe (Spain), where he averaged 10.6 ppg and 5.5 rpg. In August and September of 2005, he represented Uruguay in the FIBA Americas Tournament, and grabbed a tournament-best 15.6 rpg, adding 18.0 ppg in eight games.
Batista signed with the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent on September 12, 2005 and became the first native of Uruguay to play in the NBA. The 6-10 center provided a physical presence off the Hawks’ bench. He appeared in 57 games, including 3 starts, as a rookie, and averaged 1.8 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 8.7 minutes per game.
In the summer of 2006, Batista led Uruguay to a runner-up finish in the 2006 FIBA South American championships in Caracas, Venezuela. He led all players in total points (85, with an average of 21.3 ppg), free throws made (37), rebounding (offensive, defensive and total, averaging 10.8 rpg), and he was 2nd in the tournament in blocks with 1.0 bpg and 4th in steals at 3.0 spg. After earning first-team All-Tournament honors, Batista joined Hawks’ summer league team and played in three games at the Rocky Mountain Revue in Salt Lake City, averaging 6.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg in 13.3 mpg.
During his second season with the Hawks, he played in only 13 games and averaged 1.5 points per game to go with 2.3 rebounds per game in 6.2 minutes per game. This past summer, he once again played for Uruguay in the 2007 FIBA Championships, held August 22nd through September 2nd in Las Vegas. Batista averaged 20.8 points per game and a tournament high 12.4 rebounds per game for Team Uruguay.
After his strong showing in the FIBA championships, he was pursued by several teams including the Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, and Phoenix Suns. Early on, Batista's agent said that he turned down an offer from the Celtics and was pursuing teams who showed more interest. Then, the next day we learned that he was still considering the Celtics and was working out with the team. On September 26, Batista was signed to a non-guaranteed contract. He will give us some much needed depth behind Perk at the center position and I expect him to make the team. Early reports from Rome are positive about him.
...training camp invitee Esteban Batista also displayed nice touch and footwork in the paint as well.
He didn't play in the game against the Raptors and had a decent showing in the game against the Wolves with 7 points (2-4), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and only 1 turnover in 19 minutes.
I think that everything is focused on the attitude that I put into every minute of the game. This helps me become more powerful, have more energy, better approach my rebounds, be more active under the hoop and be physically strong. I think these are my biggest strengths and also what got me here. Always wanting to play, help and fight a team.
Batista's favorite sport outside of basketball is soccer, which he watches religiously on South American sports television. He roots for the National soccer club in Uruguay. In his spare time, he enjoys going online to check out the news in his native country, and emailing friends and family. He likes all styles of music, but he prefers hip-hop. Off the court, Batista led the Hawks’ first-ever Spanish Reading Timeout for children last season, as part of the NBA's Read to Achieve program.
Batista is fighting for one of the final 2 spots on the roster. With the Celtics need for size and with Pollard being injured already, I can see Batista sticking with this team.