The former Spanish basketball player and current President of the FEB, Jorge Garbajosa, opens to LA RAZÓN the doors of what is now his new home for two and a half years. Although we entered the presidential office of the institution in charge of Spanish basketball, it is still shocking to see how Jorge has changed the equipment of Unicaja, the Spanish team or the Raptors of the NBA, for the suit and shoes.
After 12 years of management of José Luis Sáez in the FEB, the elections of July 9, 2016 gave the victory to the Spanish pivot against two other candidates, Arturo Aguado and Alfonso Cabeza. With the year 2018 already about to end, Jorge realizes a self-balance of the elapsed time: "They have been two and a half years intense but the sensation right now is one of optimism. It is not a banal optimism, but optimism based on data and the data tells us that our absolute selections, masculine and feminine, are still the second in the FIBA world ranking only behind the USA ".
The center of Madrid does not want to remain alone in sports and recalls that in 2016 when he welcomed his new position the budget balance was less than three million euros and a half. He admits that only with effort and the support of all the Spanish basketball teams has it gone ahead. While waiting for the economic closure of this year says "and announce that it will be a more positive economic result that consolidates that recovery." That is why Jorge admits to face these two years that remain with a huge illusion.
Garbajosa has it clear: "I have given my life, my career and my health for the Federation". So, perhaps, when we ask him to run for re-election, we are not surprised by his response: "Presenting or not will simply depend on whether the people want me to continue with the project we have started and that so far is giving good results. I would like, I am sincere ".
The Torrejón de Ardoz smile when talking about the triumph in the World Cup in Tenerife of the women's team last October. The girls won the bronze medal "in a championship at home for all called the best women's world championship in history." However, he admits that "it has always been thrown in the face, probably rightly so, that women's basketball lacked investment in promotion, in visibility …" To promote it, he confesses that for two years the FEB has had the support of all the sponsors of the Federation, especially with the Supermarkets Day group. "This has allowed us to make a competition that is on everyone's lips, a female league that is Teledeporte every week".
Garbajosa points out other aspects of basketball that are also important in this equality, for example, "for the first time in history, and it has been news because it is the first time therefore now it has to stop being so, there have been three referees both in matches of the League Day and in matches of the LEB ORO league". The president concludes that for them "Laia Palau is just as important, neither more nor less, than Pau Gasol, to exemplify it in some way, our feminine and masculine basketball is treated in an absolutely equal way in this federation".
One of the most controversial issues this year has been the new windows of the FIBA. "Having these windows so that fans and the media can enjoy them, I think it's good news," the president stresses. "It is perfectly compatible with the seasons, it only takes a little bit of creativity, that is, and goodwill, which on our part is but on the part of others I do not have it so clear, why, because maybe they do not look at globality as from the FEB we are obliged to look. "
With regard to the new 3×3 Olympic basketball discipline, already in Tokyo 2020, Jorge points out that "it is a new aspect of growth and important diffusion for our sport and at the same time an incentive for new athletes who can become Olympians. new window to represent your country in international competitions ".
This year 2019 will be the 20th anniversary of those Golden Juniors led by Carlos Sainz de Aja, the best generation of Spanish basketball that with a victory against the US, changed the course of national basketball. It has been 20 years since that and the generational exchange is the order of the day, as well as the anticipation of the future of this sport. The center of Madrid dares to take a tour of history: "The past / present with that victory, probably and without wanting to be presumptuous, I think that changed not only basketball in our country but the sports mentality of our athletes. crazy, Navarro, Gasol, Raul Lopez, German Gabriel, etc., dared to challenge the great power of the US and won, that made us leave behind some mental complexes that we had ". Jorge remembers that that year coincided with the best time the sport of our country in history. "Triumphs in all disciplines, world champions in almost all team sports, great world references … This generation has a value, not only for basketball but for the unique sport." The president advises us to enjoy it until it passes completely because "we are going to miss it a lot".
Jorge is aware that "Pau Gasol is not going to have another, nor Navarro, they are unequaled", it states. However, "this renovation has been going on for many years now, we have a Llull that is in full force right now and has been with the national team for 10 years, or Chacho Rodríguez, Rudy Fernández, Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Mirotić … and what we call the 'children', with the greatest affection, the brothers Hernangómez, Abrines, Oriol Paulí, Jaime Fernández, Quino Colom … The past is amazing but the future excites me a lot, "Jorge concludes.