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Interview with Osman Garuba: “I want to leave Africa and give back all their sacrifices to my parents”

Interview with Osman Garuba:

Fun is heard in the background. Scream, joke, laugh from a locker room after a training session. “Sorry Osman, can you move, I can’t hear you at all.” It’s rumored to have that good vibes that is rarely believed, as it stays indoors. what the family has and what Usman GarubaThe shortest to reach in a long time, imbibes such wide-eyed eyes with which he conquers the top at breakneck speed.

At age 19, some golden juniors hadn’t yet reached their full stature. To pau gasoli This caused him a setback in Sydney 2000 and it was not until he was 21, at the European Championships in Turkey, that he made his official debut. Osman’s victory can be compared with the velocity, which has been achieved Ricky Rubio: Played Beijing game with only 17 Juan Antonio Corbalan u carlos sevillano He was released at a young age. or with Rudy Fernandez, even before the 20 in the Athens Games.

“Everything is fine here, happy and curious, really. Very comfortable, it’s a source of pride”, receives the Real Madrid player. “It’s still hard to let him go,” he says to his surroundings. And the telephone interview done with El Mundo, one of the few to acknowledge the phenomenon, testifies that in a matter of days it will know its fate in the NBA, a candidate for the great positions of the draft. But, in the midst of several frenzied conversations in the dressing room, there is a topic that breaks Usman and interrupts him only at the agreed time for the conversation.

“They wanted another way of life”

They are its origin. This is his family. your engine. “All I try is a way for my parents to return their sacrifice when we left Africa. I have every day in my mind to return to it, because they have worked so hard for me,” she said. announces about. Traveling, that departure from Nigeria nearly three decades ago, in search of the promise of a better future. “I’m not fully aware of the effort it took to get me there to share the dressing room with these guys. They’ve put in a lot of work, they’ve sacrificed a lot in their lives. I help them all the time.” I want to do it,” insists Osman, who has continued to live in the Azuqueca de Henares family home, while awaiting his relocation to the US until this year.

betty u Mustafa He left Benin City, escaping from hardships, in search of the future of the family he was going to create. “He has told me many times how he left Africa. My parents lived in Nigeria and things were not very good at that time,” says Garuba. “They didn’t have too many problems there, they could stay for a lifetime, what happens is that they wanted to find a different way of life. Especially my mother. They traveled to Europe, first to Belgium and then to Spain, because some Relatives and acquaintances were here. It was like that,” he explains, now, with a fluency consistent with the maturity he has been showing since he made his debut at Real Madrid when he was 16. “Yeah, yeah, a lot of people tell me I look older than my age,” he laughs.

It was difficult for the Garuba Alari family to settle in Madrid. Nothing was easy. They previously lived in Villaverde, until the father found work at the Bimbo factory in Azuqueca, where he moved and still lives, although Mustafa had to quit his job and not only because of Osman’s success: respiratory problems. he has a disability pension because it was in the city of Guadalajara where he discovered it dave serrano When he wanted to try football. her younger sister still plays there Uki -Another promise, like seddiqui, the junior European champion with Madrid a few weeks ago—for which, since Osman has a driver’s license, he takes and brings to his training session.


Garuba feels Spain, but doesn’t take his eyes off Nigeria. A few days ago they celebrated on social networks, for example, the victory of the African team over the USA team. “Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to travel there. I started with the national teams from a very young age and it occupied me for many summers, because then the preseason came. I didn’t have time. I would love to go, I wanted to go this summer, but… to see my whole family, my grandparents, my uncles…”, Osman dreams of going to the cities where his relatives live .

But it won’t be easy. There are no dates in your calendar. He has been like this since childhood. “It’s that he’s been a professional since the age of 13”, they claim from his surroundings of that frenzy, another plus that sets him apart from the competition. format. Because Osman has it clear. The NBA is your destiny. It’s also almost his passion: his great hobby This league is watching one game after another nearby.

Garuda is stubborn, a quality that can be a flaw if handled incorrectly. And losing doesn’t look good either. That’s why in recent months he has a . have worked with coach With only one goal: to improve despair. After the cup final, when Lasso used it as an emergency resource to defend an opponent’s base, he burst into tears. While it continues to affect him, failures, collective and individual failures, in the ACB final have been much better for him: “He is developing rapidly in the ability to forget the error to think about the next game.”

Everyone has respect in my mind, but if there is a fight, I apologize and that’s it.

Those who know him best also tell us that the ease with which he tackled his achievements could be nothing but the result of his age. Innocence that joins his ambition. “He just wants to get the hell out of himself. He doesn’t care who’s in front of him. He hates to lose, it burns him out,” he says. Impressed and grateful for this whim of fate, he says, “There is a lot of competition from day one, I love that. I have respect for everyone, but if beaten up, apologize and that’s it. this much only.” Because it’s illogical that he’s able to share a wardrobe with legends such as Felipe Reyes Pau Gasol in Real Madrid or now in the national team, who debuted before he was born.

“It’s a great opportunity that life is giving me, to learn from them. Enjoy it. I value it now, but I think that later, in a few years, even more,” he admits.

What impressed you about training with the Gasol brothers?
First, that they are physically very big. And that they are so good. But also communication, both verbal and gesture. What has surprised me the most is how much they care for their teammates. They are always on top of me.
Would you have imagined playing next to Pau?
There were posters of him in my room. From him and from Kobe, since he won both rings with the Lakers.
Were they your idols?
Yes, although I don’t have one in particular, I have seen many. And I still do it everyday. I learn from everyone.
What is your first memory of the national team?
Let me remember well … Could there be a World Cup in Turkey [2010, Usman tenía ocho años]? I saw it on the news, they lost to Serbia, something happened at the last minute. From there I started falling in love more. I realized what that team was. Then when I got to see the real games, the full time was at the 2012 Games.
Since then Pau, Mark, Rudy, Lull and Clever still continue…
Yes, ha ha ha Here are a few left, Pair.
Do you feel dizzy whatever is happening to you?
Yes, everything happens very fast. A lot of good things have happened to me in a short period of time, but I am ready for everything, for good and bad. Everything can’t always be okay, things can go wrong and that’s normal. Because nothing is perfect in this life. I know I can be wrong sometimes. So you have to be mentally prepared, that’s what matters the most.
From whom have you learned this maturity?
It is the result of the work of many people. My surroundings, wardrobe, my family, friends… I always try to be honest. Look in the mirror and say: ‘I am me, I am so’. And that nothing and no one changes me. I live day by day.
Your parents will have hallucinations…
Everything is unbelievable, but more than hallucinating about what is happening to me, my parents always insist that I am myself. Especially my mother. He knows I enjoy it, that I live it, compete, be here… but he tells me to be myself in spite of everything. Always always Whatever happens, nothing changes me.