Eric Schauvinhold He was 17 years old and everything he wanted in life. He lived in Entre Ríos, studied and, above all, did what he loved: playing basketball. “He lived by and for our sport”, Today, that 2m03 forward who was part of the First Concordia Students who was active in the second division of Argentine basketball, the TNA, tells us. I had already debuted, “A dreamed moment that I will never forget”, and he was excited about more after Guillermo Vecchio, former coach of the National Team, praised him on campus for his versatility. But, suddenly, a car accident in 2009 (“I was on a gravel road and an animal crossed me on a sharp curve,” he says) changed his life. The spinal fracture left him without walking again and everything he dreamed of is gone. At least in those first months after the accident. “It was a nightmare. I had to mourn, reinvent myself and find the desire and passion again ”. But, thanks to his mettle and personality, he did it: Eric moved to Buenos Aires, began to study Medicine – today he is doing the Pathology residency at the Ramos Mejía Hospital – and returned to basketball, his great love. It was at 20 and, in another way, he rediscovered the passion that had always marked him, achieving the dream he had had as a boy, playing for the Argentine National Team, in this case in a wheelchair.
Today, at 28, Eric does not remember that moment with anger or sadness. He says he learned. And a lot. “To have respect, patience and, at the same time, a lot of empathy for the other …”he admits. This is how he relates it to Fernando Zurbriggen, star point guard of our National League and of the National Team in the last two FIBA windows who is sitting next to him, in another chair, listening to this story with attention. Both already shared the court, in a training-chopped event that the Argentine Basketball Confederation (CABB) and the Club Association organized in the Cenard between adapted and conventional basketball players (men and women), and now is the time to enjoy the talk . The constructor of Works asks him and Eric counts. It is, in reality, a dialogue between two players, passionate and interested in what goes beyond the game. So it was for almost two hours that the meeting lasted, which was held with the motto “basketball is one” and had a lot of fun, fun and learning. The training that the selected men and women of Adapted Basketball perform three times a week attended Zurbriggen, José Vildoza (San Lorenzo), Nicolás De los Santos (Boca), basketball players of our National League -the first two were in the team in the last two FIBA windows- and three girls who days ago finished the National Women’s League, the MVP Agustina Jourdheuil (Berazategui), Julieta Alé (Vélez) and Luciana Delabarba (Quimsa), all summoned to the preselection that will begin to work on April 19 thinking about the South American of Colombia.
“It was a beautiful experience, enriching from various points of view. First, because it gave us the chance to share and experience adapted sport, in this case basketball, with boys and girls who have reached a national team, which is no small thing. Second, to be able to meet the players, interact with them and share with us ways of training, care, routines and, mainly, the preparation for competitions. And finally, within the beautiful climate of the game that occurred, being able to visualize and identify the daily difficulties they have both for mobility and for game tools, or the need to pool economic resources to improve these conditions “, analyzed Zurbriggen, who had already had a similar experience in Obras. Vildoza had also lived it but was still captivated. “We came to know, have fun and give a hand so that this sport becomes more visible. I’m happy, we laugh and throw some magic, but above all I have learned a lot “added Pepe, another of the great bases of our National League, a historic cradle of cracks.
“It was a different experience that I loved. It is the first time that I get on a chair and being able to share such a beautiful moment with them was incredible. They treated us ten and I was surprised by the difficulty of the modality, although it is as basketball as ours “, highlighted the blonde Alé. “The only difference is that they need an element to do it, but they have the same passion. Today was my birthday but I came anyway because I loved the idea. We had a great time”added the brunette Delabarba. “It was great. It is admirable what they do and how they do it. Actually, I thought it would be easier to play from the chair. I’m dead, my shoulders and traps hurt “said a smiling De los Santos as he massaged the muscles in those areas.
“I had a lot of problems handling the chair, especially when braking”Zurbriggen said. “I had also sat down before, but a dive is different. It was difficult for me to bend, direct myself and it is difficult to shoot from so low, ”added Vildoza, who will fight for the League MVP with Fer. But in reality, beyond the difficulty they encountered, everyone wanted to point out that the main difference, as Zurbriggen said, is “outside the field. We are privileged because of the facilities we have to access the means to carry out our sport and hopefully, in the near future, they will not find so many difficulties, because the most beautiful thing about sport is that it is egalitarian ”.
Everyone showed their happiness for the moment lived, but more than anything the members of the selected chairs. “It makes me very happy that people from the CABB and the League have come to make this visible, that the players have come with so much interest, good vibes and predisposition, in some way to end the myth that chair can generate something bad or you can’t do sports. It generates the same passion in you as any other. The only difference that needs a mechanical means to do it “, said Carlos Cardarelli, national DT of the female chair selections, who in an introductory talk explained in detail who plays adapted basketball –many people with lower limb injuries, most of them due to accidents-, in which categories –they go from 1 to 4.5 points, according to the severity of the disability-, with what rules – almost the same, except for differences in walking, which is by impulse, or double dribbling – and with what type of chairs.
“I’m happy. The event was great, first because of the wave that occurred. They all came with the best, to play seriously and learn seriously… And, of course, because of the visibility that it allows us. Hopefully we will continue to do so. We have to be one, to the conventional and to the adapted one, the love for basketball unites us “, said Mariana Redi, who was born with a malformation – the phalanges of both hands and a part of her right leg are missing – but she always played sports until she fell in love with basketball in 2016. “There was very good energy, a lot of positive vibes today. And it was something very gratifying that they came with this wave, that they appreciated our effort. It is nice to see the recognition of a professional athlete to one who practices this sport with the same passion as him ”, closed Eric, who also has the hobby of being a model. A very different reality to that of 2009 after the accident.
It was exciting to watch the dive, which lasted over half an hour. And also, how, on the sides of the field, while some played, others shared talks and smiles, even some joke of those adapted to the conventional because he could not even approach what they do. “I want to thank everyone, for being there and wanting to spread our passion,” said Cardarelli, but not before leaving a message for others who may be frustrated, hurt or angry at home, after an accident or for being born with a disability. “My advice is that they approach adapted sport, that the chair is not a taboo, that this is one more sport… Unfortunately what happened to them in life is one more step than what can happen to anyone else. Don’t shut up, go out for a physical activity and if you can try wheelchair basketball, I have no doubts that it will change your life. “, Hill. So be it, Carlos.
VIDEO and TEXT: CABB-AdC Press Production
PHOTOS: Credit Rodrigo Valle