There was a time when Josep Perez He stood out strongly as one of the most talented boys in the training teams of the FC Barcelona. Another in which he began to show strong symptoms of sports maturity in the Covirán Granada and even a third in which the shirt of the CB Almansa with Afanion He seemed to be endowing him with that necessary force with which to finish delivering the final blow towards his consecration.

Feelings that fed the illusions of their day to day and that ended up jumping through the air in what is usually the most cruel way for any player, with a torn ligaments in one of your knees which forced him to halt his progression in his tracks.

Because, Josep Perez He had to repair his joint, but also his head, starting a process of internal recycling that has allowed him to return now with a very different mentality.

A new path in which he continues to advance in sports to try to show very soon that the last year was nothing more than a small stop on the path of a player who does not give up his dream of being able to one day reach the desired goal Endesa League.

Josep Pérez: “After a torn ligament, you value every moment much more”

Looking askance at those photos that remind him of the first anniversary of his knee operation, Josep Pérez is today a much more serene man than the one who passed through the operating table. A player who has been taught by adversity to know how to value each moment and that makes us take stock of one of the hardest and most valuable years of his sports career.

Josep, how different this December 1 must be from the one you experienced last year …

“Yes, the movie has changed a lot because at that time I was in a hospital to have knee surgery and now I’m about to go to training and to be able to play basketball, which is what I like the most. In between, I have lived a very hard road physically and mentally and in which everything has been a little more complicated due to the pandemic. There has been a lot of work behind to be able to take small steps and that has allowed me to be here again and to feel very grateful for everything I have experienced during this time ”.

Does the phone keep ringing as much during an injury as it does when one is in a good sporting moment?

“It sounds, but it does it differently because the calls you receive are what help you to truly value people, to understand who those who have always been by your side have been. It comforts you to see how they care about you, to see how they always have a message of encouragement and to see how they rejoice as you take steps forward. They are hard months and in which those who have a bad time because you doubt about whether or not you will be able to play basketball again, but all this helps you feel supported and keep looking forward when you go through the most difficult moments. ”

What has hurt the most in these months? The knee or the head?

“It’s a good question, but I don’t know if the answer is clear… On the one hand, I am lucky to have developed a very active lifestyle off the slopes and that has allowed me to be distracted throughout all these months, but on the other hand, basketball has always been my life and I missed it a lot. I tried to watch as little basketball as possible and especially the LEB Oro because watching my team or my friends play affected me a lot emotionally and it was very frustrating. So I think maybe the head hurt a little more than the injury itself … “.

Does it help that after such a serious injury it is your own club that is betting on your continuity in their project?

“It is something that I will always thank them because from the first minute they were clear that they wanted to renew me and it even closed very soon, when the summer had hardly started. The feeling was reciprocal because I also wanted to be here since I considered that the club had always understood me very well. I was convinced that this could be a very good place to be able to regain my level as soon as possible and I think that for the moment we are on the right track ”.

With which you always complain the players of the preseason, I imagine that this year must have tasted like glory …

“But we complain about vice! Because when you find yourself in a situation like this, where you can’t train what you would like and where you can’t do all the sessions your head asks of you, that’s when you miss it the most. I am a very competitive person and who loves being able to improve in his day-to-day life, so I am delighted to be able to do it again ”.

And how are you looking back on the track? Where are you at?

“Well, right now I am discovering a new path because, no matter how much they tell you about this type of injury, you cannot get an idea of ??what it is until you experience it. On a mental level you have to constantly readjust expectations and, in turn, balance work with patience. You should not come down when the body does not respond, but neither should you come too up when there is a new day. You have to be constant and work week by week because I am not yet at the level I want. The evolution is good but there is still a way to go and I think that maybe soon I can be at my best level ”.

The team has changed a lot compared to the one you left last year. How have you adapted to this new group?

“I think good. As you say, we are a very new team, with foreigners who can give you a lot of talent but who, in turn, need some time to adapt to the League. In the midst of all this, I feel good because I think I have the confidence of Rubén Perelló, a coach who has always understood me very well. Besides that, I have the peace of mind that there is another great point guard such as Fabio Santana, a person who is helping me to gradually reach my level and who helps us a lot when it comes to being able to play that brave game in attack and that is born from the defense ”.

You speak of Fabio Santana, but we could do it of Lluis Costa, Joan Creus, Dani Rodríguez, Joaquín Portugués, Carlos Noguerol… You have always had national dance partners with whom you have offered very good results!

“We are talking about a very demanding League such as LEB Oro. Here the national bases are very important and if in addition to that they have experience in the category, much more. In bad times they help the team to come together a lot and I think that is one of the tasks that Fabio and I can develop very well in this team. There is a good understanding and I think that when I reach my 100% we can complement each other very well and even share important moments of the game on the court ”.

We have spent a lifetime talking about Josep Pérez as one of the young founders of the future of the competition, but at the age of 27, you began to enter the group of mature foundations of the competition …

“Yes, I am already starting to be at that point where you are no longer so young, but where experience begins to give other incentives to your game. Just before the injury I was feeling at a very good level and I thought it could be an important moment in my career, but then an injury like that comes and everything changes. It teaches you to value your day to day and to know that you should not make an effort more than to give 100% every day. You understand the importance of each moment and you value much more how lucky you are to be able to enjoy a race like this one ”.

I understand then that talking to you about a return to the ACB is something that is far away right now once this philosophy has been adopted …

“Not necessarily. Since I made my debut in the ACB with Barça, my dream has always been to be able to return one day and I don’t give up on it. I am also realistic and I know that after an injury like this the goal is a little more difficult, but I am neither going to give up nor do I plan to give it up. I intend to work for it as much as I can and, if it doesn’t come, at least no one will be able to say that I haven’t tried ”.

Season statistics – Josep Pérez:

Played games: 9
Minutes: 16.09
Points: 4.3
Rebounds: 2.1
Assists: 1.3
Recoveries: 1.3
Plugs: —
Fouls received: 0.8
Rating: 4.4

Sports career – Josep Pérez:

Inferior categories: Lliria Basketball School
2007/10: FC Barcelona (Infant and Cadet)
2010/12: FC Barcelona (LEB Silver)
2012/14: FC Barcelona (LEB Gold)
2014/15: CB Peñas Huesca (LEB Gold)
2015/16: Actel Força Lleida (LEB Gold)
2016/17: Cerrato Palencia Cheeses (LEB Gold)
2017/18: CB Prat (LEB Gold)
2018/20: Covirán Granada (LEB Gold)
2020/22: CB Almansa with Afanion (LEB Gold)

International career – Josep Pérez:

2010: U16 Team – European Montenegro (4th Place)
2011: U18 Team – European Poland (Gold Medal)
2012: U18 National Team – Mannhein (Gold Medal)
2012: U18 National Team – Lithuania European (5th Place)
2013: U19 National Team – Czech Republic World Cup (5th Place)