The world runner-up who got angry with basketball and now wants to meet his best version again

The world runner-up who got angry with basketball and now wants to meet his best version again

At the end of 2019, life was smiling Patrick Garino. Enjoyed a good gift in Baskonia And the wonderful Spanish memory of the individual and collective performance with the Argentine national team in world cup chinaWhere hung the silver medal. But on November 22, during a match in the Euroleague with his team, he ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee, which, looking back, marked the beginning of two and a half years of agony, as he spent more hours in rehab than on the field. In that time period, in that right leg, he had a meniscus problem that forced him to undergo surgery in October 2020, a hamstring injury in August 2021, during the Tokyo Games, and a thigh injury last January, and her rehabilitation continued. longer than expected and prompted him to terminate his contract with Nanterre From France, which he arrived at after the Olympic event, after passing through Zalgiris Kaunas from Lithuania.

This bad streak was consuming his desire, strength and head, and after distanced himself from his last club, with whom he played only 8 matches in the domestic league, he found himself without motivation to start over. At odds with basketball, he traveled to Argentina to reunite with his family and friends, whom he had not seen since before the pandemic, and his weeks in the country reminded him of what the sport meant to him. With renewed energy, he returned to Spain to face a deep rehabilitation for that leg that left him with so many headaches, and today, shortly after his 29th birthday, he dreams of wearing the light blue and white shirt again…maybe in a few years. Months.

“Basketball became my passion again, I, I discovered my love for this sport. Maybe a while ago I didn’t want to see it, I was in denial, I didn’t understand it and I didn’t want to understand it. Today I know that I am a basketball player. And I am thanks for that” , He said Clarion From Madrid, days after his return to training on the field. “I was angry with the ball for about a month. A month and a half without touching it. But when I came back I was surprised, because I quickly got back to where I was.”

Garino – who before coming to Baskonia played college basketball in the United States for George Washington University and spent a short time in NBA In 2017 (conducted season preparations with Tottenhambut did not make it to the final line-up, and then signed with Charmwith whom he only played five matches) – does not regret leaving Nanterre to focus one hundred percent on his recovery.

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“It’s rare to be without a team and training on your own in the middle of a season. But to stop and focus on this station that was causing so many problems was the right decision. Today I feel peace of mind being without the pressure and without the tight times to get back into the competition. That’s evident in the development I’m facing physically. I know that if one was good, then everything would be more bearable,” he commented.

After your physical recovery, how would you describe the feelings over the past few months?

They were a roller coaster train. Sometimes, low and logical. Sometimes, neutrality and indifference. Others are angry. And some happiness, but a little of it related to basketball. Things weren’t easy, at least until I got home. Because after leaving the French national team, I came to Spain for treatment and my idea was to go back to training in Argentina, but I realized that I don’t have the mental strength to get back on the pitch. I really miss my family and friends whom I haven’t seen since about mid-2019. So I went there and spent about 25 days enjoying myself, clearing my mind and taking a break from training, something I hadn’t done before..during those times I got hurt. Then I went back to Madrid with my head settled on recovery.

Garino, third from the right, on the World Cup podium. Photo by Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

What changed on that trip?

I’ve rediscovered what I love. I was able to go watch a few games for some friends and there I remembered why I started playing basketball and where I came from and grew up. Seeing the atmosphere at the matches in Argentina, the reception of the people and the emotion, it gave me a lot of energy, more strength and peace of mind.

Motivate you…

Yes, because when I came to Madrid for the treatment, the truth is that the motivation to play basketball was not there. He didn’t show up until I got home. This and the support of my family and Paula, my wife, going through everything with me, gave me the strength to focus on something other than the negative, which is the hardest.

Have you thought about retirement at some point?

I’d be lying if I told you no. Sometimes it would haunt me, especially in moments of downturn. But it was never a very strong or aggressive idea. I think I’ve felt it more in the past. Years ago, before my cruciferous injury, I had a sprained knee and was thinking about giving up everything, I wanted to go home, I was so tired. (NdR: He was also on the right, in November 2018, he went almost two months without playing and in the first match of his comeback he strained his right calf). But today, with the experience of all these situations, and with the help of a psychologist and family, fortunately I can get rid of this thought quickly. Leaving basketball forever did not wrap my head.

Garino injured his right hamstring in the match against Spain, in the Tokyo 2020 quarter-finals. Photo Gregory Shamus / AFP

Garino injured his right hamstring in the match against Spain, in the Tokyo 2020 quarter-finals. Photo Gregory Shamus / AFP

– What have you been through in recent years with injuries, have you changed the way you think or approach this sport?

He made me see the sport as unfair and ungrateful. But at the same time I realized I’m not what I am without basketball, for all good and bad. Fortunately I didn’t have a moment of total stagnation, or a meltdown. Although I felt different. When I was with the national team in Las Vegas or Tokyo, for example, I didn’t feel like the usual pat, joking, talking, cracking jokes. I was more serious, perhaps with more pressure on her. Sometimes I was mad at basketball, and I couldn’t watch it, it pissed me off because I couldn’t keep up. But these feelings are already constant today. I found my passion again.

Choice, goal for this 2022

“The development has been very positive,” Garino said of his recovery in Madrid. “I’ve been working out in the gym, focusing especially on the leg, for a month or so. Now I’ve started doing a little one-on-one basketball at a training center, with a physical trainer and a technically trained individual. The truth is that everything is going well” .

-How did you feel when he stepped on the court again?

It totally surprised me, because it just came on a little bit too abruptly. I had a solid and progressive business plan, but the development was so good that we were able to speed up times a bit, and from day to day a little message came that says Tomorrow you play one on one. The comeback was quite enjoyable beyond that at first, there was little tension or lack of confidence in making the wrong move. But once I gained confidence, I felt full again. At one point he wanted to win again and not think about his leg. I know I still have a long way to go, but it fills my body with joy and motivates me to keep fighting.

– What are the next steps?

Continuing to work. The goal is to get back in the race as soon as possible, clearly being careful not to speed badly. I want to prepare to be in the windows of choice, if they call me or take me into account.

– Aren’t you thinking of playing in a club again yet?

The truth is, being back in the team at this point in the playoffs, which you’re playing at 150 per cent, I don’t think is good for my body or my head or for any club. If the national team does not happen this year, I will aim to prepare for next season, put in all the effort and desire to have a team again and compete without any physical problem.

The following commitments for the men’s team are the two qualifying windows for 2023 FIFA World Cup Philippines, Japan and IndonesiaThey will face Venezuela on June 30 and Panama on July 3. Those matches will conclude the first stage, after which the top three from each group will advance to the next stage, which begins in August. team led by Nestor Garcia Second place in Zone A.

In addition, from September 2 to 11, he will play the role of AmeriCup In Brasilia and Recife (Brazil), where they will join Group B along with the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

“When I started training, the level of basketball was nonexistent (laughs). But the wrist pleasantly surprised me. After different movements, I realized that the body has a memory. Logically, I lack a lot of physique, strength and explosiveness, but I feel great potential. My plan is To be ready to play in mid-June, logically with no shooting, to play 5v5, but fully available. Everything is specified in the work plan. I hope it can be respected”, closed Garino.

Oliver Walton

"Pro alcohol addict. Bacon scholar. Award-winning beer fan. Gamer. Social media expert. Zombie guru."

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