Ricky Rubio is not alone: ​​Spanish basketball is also a wall against mental health problems

Spain national basketball team unites in a friendly match against Venezuela (FEB)

“1, 2, 3, wall!” If you follow the Spanish men’s basketball team, you have probably heard this phrase more than once. This is the slogan that various members of the national team usually sing loudly when they are about to jump onto the field to play one of their matches. The invocation may refer to the good defense usually shown by Spain. In addition, and it is from here that the expression seems to have come, to the wall, literally, jumped over many years ago, secretly and to make a pineapple, coming out in the then ordinary concentration hotel in San Fernando (Cádiz). And even if you stick to the strictest news, the strength this athletic and human group has shown lately while facing a number of adversities that are not insignificant in terms of mental health.

The feeling of deprivation of him led to the fact that one of the captains and the highest authorities Family, Ricky Rubioleave for now sinus dies, sports baskets. The news fell like a pitcher of cold water among locals and strangers as the return of the NBA point guard got everyone excited the following year. world, in which Sergio Scariolo and his students defend their title. But the 2019 Gold MVP decided to put himself ahead of the curve with exceptional support. Widely distributed, but especially among its fellows in the glorious summer.

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Saying they understand you better than anyone else may seem like a cliché, but the truth is, it is. More than ever, Spanish basketball players have shown more than ever how they feel and suffer. They are heroes on the court, but also ordinary people off it: after serious problems, they were able to recover and compete at the highest level like never before..

In 2019 Rudy Fernandez He received one of the worst news that can be given to a person in this life: his father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The blow was such that the current captain of the Spanish national team He came to consider giving up everything. What he didn’t do for his father. “He made me promise that I would never refuse a call from Scariolo if I saw that I could make some contribution to the team,” says the Spaniard in the prologue to unexpected goldthe official EuroBasket 2022 book. A title won by dressing room manager Rudy just four months after Rodolfo Fernandez Sr passed away after a long illness.

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The Real Madrid player also attended the World Cup the same year when his personal trials began. And, like last year, he returned with a cup under his arm. In an honesty exercise that Felipe Reyes had already shot at the time, with whom the same thing happened, he eviscerated his heart and found solace in his basketball family. Tears, at some point, were inevitable. But courage, along with the fulfillment of parental desires, could do much more.

Rudy Fernandez in training for the Spanish national team (FEB)

This is the case of another Mallorca, Alex Abrins, the one that may bear the greatest resemblance to Ricky. His American adventure came to an abrupt end: The Oklahoma City Thunder, in which he had played since 2016, decided to cut him off in February 2019 for “personal reasons.” He himself told what happened: “All I lived was a dream, but I exploded. I stopped enjoying myself. And a month later I got a blockage, which I couldn’t get on the track. I decided to step away from the team and start to recover mentally with the professionals. The realization that in a week or a month I would again have to travel with the team caused me great anxiety.and I thought that I could not overcome this disease of depression and anxiety without leaving the collective and devoting myself to the improvement of my mind.

Because of all this Abrins decided to park basketball for almost half a yearuntil he returned to Barça. “Many times I thought about giving up. I told myself that I would find other ways to inspire myself and bring out the best in me. But nothing and no one penetrated me as deeply as you. So I forced myself to end this nightmare. And I achieved it. A smile returned to me, a desire to see you and spend a thousand hours together again. Dear ball, I’m back,” he said, officially announcing his return.


— Alex Abrins (@alexabrines) July 3, 2019

Sergio Lull He is another outstanding member of the Ultimate Team, extremely skilled at overcoming adversity. Nothing more than the one he had to face in 2017, which he considered the best year of his career and ultimately left him with mixed feelings: some were very good until the fateful August 9, and others after that were more bittersweet -sweet.

In the midst of the preparatory round for EuroBasket, the Menorcan torn anterior cruciate ligament in right knee in Tenerife. A severe injury in his life kept him in drydock for eight and a half months, until April 2018. An illness of this nature could advance his career, physically and mentally. However, Lull gave a master class on self-improvement at all times.

Sergio Lull and Ricky Rubio in training for the Spanish national team (FEB)

Five years later, the smile never left his face, despite the fact that he was again at the gate for a European Championship match with friends.. In 2022, due to an adductor injury in his left leg in a match with Iceland, he was left without a major tournament. At least in body, not soul: he was more than taken into account in the subsequent competition and was another one in the celebration, already in Madrid, of the feat of Berlin. Although he was offered to live machada live, Incredible He preferred to follow her like another spectator and leaving the focus of those who could play from home.

In the same 2023 Dario Brizuela He had a special dose of resilience. It was all a bad dream, but in the midst of the Copa del Rey, which he eventually won with Unicaja, he could no longer contain his emotions. “Those were the worst days of my life. my son is in intensive care, Fine. It recovered. I doubted whether to come, but my colleagues convinced me. Everything bad that was inside him broke out, ”he admitted at the foot of the track in Badalona, ​​immediately after he led his team to the semi-finals.

We were in the middle of February: Bruno, the baby of Barca’s newest player, was born a month earlier and suffered sudden health complications that led to him undergoing intestinal surgery.. Everything went well, with the addition that Brizuela was able to dedicate her success to him. The expressions of love from those days will never be forgotten. “As a father, I promise to remind him that he was born in Malaga, that he is and will always be loved there, and that we are indebted to the city and its people,” he wrote, packing his bags for Barcelona.

Dario Brizuela training with Spain (FEB)

These are the most famous and revealing examples of the talent that the Scariolo boys also cherish to tackle challenges that have little or nothing to do with basketball. The wall that opposes them is the same or even more stone than the one that led them to sports glory. Along with the greatest support that Ricky Rubio can now use to win, which he will undoubtedly do in his battle.

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