A few weeks back, Juancho Hernangomez was not expected to play in the Tokyo Olympics for Spain due to a separated shoulder suffered during training. However, after consulting with team doctors just before the games, he was re-instated on the roster…
Then quickly taken off again, replaced by Xabi Lopez-Arostegui.
Spanish Basketball Federation president Jorge Garbajosa said in a press conference Hernangomez wanted to play but was blocked. Juancho’s brother Willy Hernangomez Tweeted this out:
#FreeJuancho FFG 🌟
— Willy Hernangómez Geuer (@willyhg94) July 24, 2021
What happened was the Timberwolves stepped in and kept their big man from risking further damage to his shoulder. The team released this statement, via Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas:
“We support our international players’ decisions to play with their National teams and appreciate the passion of Juancho and the Spanish Federation to represent their country. Unfortunately, we are dealing with an active injury. Based on our team physician’s recommendation, Juancho needs time to recover from and rehabilitate his injury, and that timeline restricts Juancho’s availability to participate in the Tokyo Olympics. The determined recovery plan is the best path forward to allow Juancho to heal properly.”
These club vs. country challenges (very common in international soccer) are becoming more and more of an issue around the NBA. Most players lean toward where their paychecks come from, but the draw to represent one’s nation is strong.
At this point the Spanish roster is locked for the games, and Juancho is not on it.