Barbosa started his career at Palmeiras when he was 17. He played on Paulista (São Paulo's) Championship under the command of Lula Ferreira, the future Brazil national team coach.
At 19, he played on the principal team of Palmeiras on Paulista (São Paulo's) Championship. He averaged 14.2 points per game. After that he was traded to Tilibra/Bauru on January 2001.
During his first season as a professional in Brazil, playing for Tilibra/Bauru, he was coached by Jorge Guerra. He averaged 15.8 points, 6.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He was chosen as Rookie of the Year during the Paulista of 2001. Barbosa ended the season as the fourth ranked player in three point percentage, sixth in assists and eleventh in field goals. In 2002, he won the Brazilian Basketball League with Bauru, and was drafted for the Brazil national basketball team who played in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.
Read more about this topic: Leandro Barbosa
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