Players at FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup hear important advice on becoming pros
FUENGIROLA (Spain) - Aside from offering intense competition, and giving players a stage to represent their countries, the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup offers an educational workshop to assist aspiring young player's in their future professional careers.
At this month's event in Spain, the Players' Workshop, supported by the FIBA Players’ Commission to transfer knowledge from former players to younger ones, took place at the Palacio de la Paz in Fuengirola.
The speakers were Carlos Cabezas and Jorge Garbajosa, former Spain internationals that competed at youth World Championships and also played on the senior team that captured the 2006 FIBA Basketball World Cup title in Japan. Cabezas was on the famous Spain team, in fact, that won the 1999 World Championship for Junior Men in Portugal.
Players heard Cabezas and Garbajosa talk about various subjects including the importance of goal setting and time management, cultural awareness and the media and using social media wisely.
Garbajosa, who is now the Spanish Basketball Federation President, wanted to drive home the message, too, that players need to be thinking about their futures, once their careers on the court are over.
Jorge Garbajosa and Carlos Cabezas speaking at the U17 Players' Workshop
"You need to have a plan for when you retire," he said. "You never know when a bad injury can stop your career, so you cannot wait until the last minute. Then, the plan can work or fail, but without that motivation, the day after you retire can be your worst day."
Cabezas stressed the importance of players looking after their health and fitness.
"It is super important to start taking care of your body at an early age, not when problems arrive and everything hurts," he said. "That’s the secret to having a long career."
This year's workshop was different from last year, being conducted in person with players being able to listen firsthand to some important advice and interact with the guest speakers.
FIBA National Federations & Sport Director Zoran Radovic said: "We are very happy to go back to a face-to-face workshop since the last one had to be conducted online. One of FIBA's roles as a governing body is to educate players both on and off the court and we hope that the participants from this year's U17 World Cup can take with them some important lessons from the session."
The Players Workshop will be made available on the Players' Hub, where other workshops from other events are currently available.