Thursday, November 30, 2023

Are you one of us

Well, I’m not kidding you, yesterday when Yiyi told me that, it shocked me. You still have to fight a lot. Man, you are at the best age to continue playing. But when you have made that decision it is for something that you and yours have thought about and that the rest of us have to respect. Do not give an opinion and do support.

It won’t have been easy. Knowing yourself, and knowing what you like basketball, it will have been difficult for you to take this step. I still remember that boy on the Marist school fields, it didn’t matter if he coached his team or not, he had to be kicked out of there so he would stop playing. Always with a ball in his hands. And also a smile. A smile that was contagious because you were always in a good mood, you always had something funny to tell. Or it was simply that, whatever you said, you did it in such a way that you always made the rest of us smile.

I met you there, in the courtyard of the Maristas school when I worked there and Patricio trained you. There was a lot of merit in what was done there. Form teams with school students and make them able to compete. Later we were even able to win a federated provincial championship, which was amazing.

Do you remember when we agreed on the Andalusian national team? There you were the only one in the group who was not from Unicaja, Cajasol or CB Granada. I remember that when we had to make the final team and make the discards, Selu and I said ‘Pepe and eleven more’. You were from Palo but you were the boss of that team that became champion of Spain. And you were the boss because you were very good on the court and great off it. You were, and are, just as charismatic as that child with the ball in his hands all day shooting baskets in the Marist school yard.

What we experienced together in the Clinics was lethal. The LEB Plata year was very fun. Do you remember that semi-final play off against Castellón? The line of people to see you play went around the Los Guindos pavilion. We went to Castellón with one on one. We had to play two games on their court and win at least one to force the fifth game in Malaga. But you were great and you both won there. In the first one you scored 6 triples!!!! Yes, six.

The following season you were able to take another step forward in your game, but now competing in LEB Oro. We will never know what would have happened if the ACB teams did not notice you and left us that entire season together. But it was impossible. You played so well that what happened was normal. In your case, Valladolid signed you mid-season. And that’s where your professional career at the ACB began.

I do not know. It could be that I have no idea about basketball, which is the most possible, or that I love you too much, but I would not hesitate to have Pepe Pozas on my team if he were ACB coach. It’s no longer because of how good you are. It’s just that you are glue in the locker room, it’s that you train every day like crazy to be your best and because you give what you have for your team. It’s that you are more aware of your colleagues than of yourself. That’s why I don’t understand why you don’t have several calls to continue playing. Or you may have had them and there are other priorities in your head. Because there comes a time when something happens in your life that changes your perception of things. You realize what a real problem is and that basketball is not everything in life.

Now I’m sure you have other priorities. One of them calls you dad and that must be lethal. Now you will have new challenges that even you are clear about what they are. I have no idea if those projects will be linked to basketball or not. What is clear to me is that you are going to succeed no matter what you do because you are worth a lot and you are a guy with something special.

Well, I’m talking about professionally because you will surely have to continue working and spending your time on something because the challenge of educating Bertilla is already exciting enough to keep your mind busy. But I’m sure that you and Bea are doing great and your daughter is going to have the best possible education like your parents gave you. Exemplary parents! They have been, without a doubt, those most responsible for you fulfilling that dream you had when you had to be kicked out of the Maristas courts, the dream of being a professional player.

We will be attentive to see where you focus your life now. Or well, let’s see if we can meet up and go eat and tell me that way. If it’s to pay, nothing happens, I’ll take out the card… although you are a splendid guy with a huge heart and you’re not one of those from the brotherhood of the fist.

I don’t need to tell you what I want and to see if it’s true that we’re going to meet for lunch soon, I promise you that I won’t tell you what we talk about in another article.

A kiss Pepe. I love you.


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