LJavier Justiz’s left knee couldn’t take it anymore and, despite the player’s efforts to remain active, forced him to retire at the age of 29. The Cuban center of Casademont Zaragoza has announced it through a statement. He will try to stay linked to basketball, since he is studying to become a coach.
“For my professional career it is an end point. Not for basketball, but as a player. It has been a not so difficult decision because the doctors have already told me that the knee was not going to advance. It was one more decision of the knee than mine. Many hours were invested and in the end it did not advance”, he explains resignedly.
On January 30, 2020, Justiz underwent arthroscopy for a torn meniscus in his left knee. That was the beginning of his serious problems. Since then he was limping until he played his last game in the Endesa League on May 23, 2021. This same year, the doctors already warned him that retirement was a very feasible possibility, but he has tried until the end. And he remembers the doctors: “Julián, Isaac, Juan Carlos, Javi… They were the ones who spent the most hours with me. It was also difficult for them because I had ups and downs mentally and there were days that I had to put up with.”
Despite having assumed it, “it still hurts a little. I’m saying goodbye to basketball.” From now on, Javier Justiz will have to start another life, surely linked to the club: “I will take coaching courses to improve myself a little more”.
Without sports activity, Justiz will have more time to go with his family. “I haven’t seen her for three years. I exchanged two summers of not going to Cuba to try to extend my career. I miss my mother and my mother me a lot. I had the loss of my father and I couldn’t go to say goodbye to change to give a plus in the sport and I do not regret it but sometimes I feel that I changed something and in the end… He will understand it wherever he is”, he says excitedly.
The pivot shows his gratitude “to the president Reynaldo Benito and the board because they gave me the opportunity to be there one more year to see if I could be the Justiz of two years ago. I would have liked to be that again. Last year we tried and I got there. We went back to work but the knee didn’t want to respond.”
And he also says goodbye to his teammates and fans. “Rodrigo [San Miguel] he has supported me a lot, Nicholas [Brussino] I always tried to get up… They were a group that made me feel like family. And the fans also worried about me, they supported me on the street, on social networks”
Gone are three campaigns in Zaragoza since he arrived in 2018, playing 83 official matches with the team. In the Endesa League, he played 69 games with averages of 6.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 0.6 blocks. In European competitions he added 14 more games with averages of 8.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and a PIR of 11.3.