I would like to share the experience of being in Venezuela during the off season participating in the activities organized by the Greivis Vásquez Foundation while I was also recovering from my ankle surgery.
This is the first time in the last thirteen years that I have visited my country over a 4 month period and I must confess that I have lived countless emotions. ‘Effort without stopping’ could be a good definition of the Venezuelan experience. One of my greatest satisfactions is the fact of being able to tour the majority of the country offering basketball clinics, coaching courses and motivational speeches.
During this period I was able to visit places like the Sacred Monument of the ‘Divina Pastora in Barquisimeto, The Angel Falls, a farm in Guárico, contemplate the beauty of “La Llovizna” National Park, savor the delicious Maracaibo ‘Patacones’ (Boiled and fried green plantains), and talk to members of the Pemón native community. These experiences have meant a lot to me, they have an immeasurable value and they motivate me to get to know more about Venezuela.
I was also able to sign important personal and team agreements. I am very proud of being named Spokesperson for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Venezuela, a designation that will give me the opportunity to unite the people of my country, regardless of their political views. We also signed agreements with two important universities, the Universidad Central de Venezuela and the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. These two schools are guaranteeing scholarships for the basketball players sponsored by the Greivis Vásquez Foundation.
Life has given me the privilege of spreading a positive message to the Venezuelan youth and at this moment my greatest satisfaction is being able to remind them the importance of “doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”; “Dare to dream”; “Dreams do come true”; and “Easy comes, easy goes”.
I am back in the USA continuing my rehabilitation process and focused on my goal of returning 100% healthy to the NBA.