We conducted an interview with Juan Torres, a basketball player and former student of the Chamber of Commerce of Bilbao, currently residing in Swords, Ireland.
Tell us a bit about your beginnings in Basketball
- When I was a child I used to play soccer in Bilbao, but with 12 years old I started to play Basketball, and I found it really funny and I knew that it was going to be my sport.
I've been playing in the Unamuno basketball team in Bilbao last years, and with the Zornotza basketball club of Amorebieta. That was a huge change for me, starting to play with really good players in good teams while I was at the University.
How the idea of going to play basketball in Ireland started?
- I've been studying 4 years at the chamber of commerce in Bilbao, specializing in Marketing. In the last year, I had a meeting with Paula. She told me that a teacher had been talking with the coach of the Ireland basket team, THUNDERS. The coach saw videos of me playing basketball and the negotiation began.
They wanted me to go to Ireland to join Thunders team for a while before the beginning of the season, but I was doing an internship at DSV in Bilbao so it was impossible for me. So they invited me to go to Bari (ITALY) to play a Basketball Tournament with them, so I could meet everyone. After these 4 days, training and playing with them, I was delighted; everyone was nice and really kind with me besides being a very good team. After that, thanks to the university and to the team I got what I'm living now.
When did you arrive to Ireland? How is it?
- On July 31 I already was in Ireland because of the preseason. Irish people look like the people of Bilbao, really open, kind... I had a really good welcome.
I came with a college scholarship and I'm studying at Griffit College GLOBAL BRAND MANAGEMENT. I'm also playing in the university tea, and I'm really happy. The university is really big and it's great, having over 50 nationalities I could meet many new people and having new friends from many different countries.
I'm living in Swords, but the university is in Dublin. It's pretty close, just 30 minutes by bus. So I’m playing in the university basketball team and with Thunders, so I have busy weeks.
Thunder, my current team is in the premier league so we have really hard trainings. I came with physical difficulties because of my knee but it's getting much better every day and I'm improving a lot as a player
How is the experience away from home?
- When I came I could neither make pasta or rice, but the experience has been very good. I came quite scary because it was the first experience away from home but this fear didn't last too much. Luckily my roommates are very good and I have been very lucky living with them. They are also my teammates so they are facilitating this experience
The season with Thunder is going good?
- We are very pleased, the beginning is great! We have a record 4-1! (4 victories, 1 defeat). It's awesome because we are a team newly promoted to the premier league and nobody was watching us with real possibilities in the league, not even winning games.
What do you pretend to do next?
- I'm enjoying the experience very much and I would love (if I approve the master), to continue playing in a competitive league in foreign countries.
But now what I want to do is to focus, to approve the master and leave the team in good stead and especially keep living this amazing experience. I miss a lot my family and friends, but it helps a lot that other students of the chamber of commerce are studying and living here, it makes me feeling closer to home.