Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bobby Medina: Internationally Known

Living in Portland and working for the Trail Blazers, I’ve become accustomed to people asking me if I know the players personally. Even though I get asked all the time, I’ve never quite certain how to answer.

On one hand, yes, I do know the players and, for the most part, they know me. But on the other hand, I don’t want to give people the impression that I’m hanging out at Brandon Roy’s house on a Saturday night playing Yahtzee and watching Simpson’s reruns (what, that’s not what you do on weekends?). My relationship with the players centers on my work, and I try to represent it as such when asked.

Here in Europe, I don’t have to worry about explaining those relationships, because as much as I’d like to report otherwise, I don’t get the sense that many on this side of the Atlantic even know the Trail Blazers are an NBA basketball team, let alone who the players are. I’m made a point of wearing Blazers gear out and about as much as possible and I’ve even tried to strike up a few conversations about the team, but so far I’ve been confronted with nothing but confused looks during those interactions, outside of Rudy’s and Sergio’s camps, that is.

But there was an inquiry about the team in Gran Canaria by Fernando, one of Sergio’s longtime friends from Tenerife, who wanted to know if I knew one particular member of the team. It wasn’t Brandon Roy or LaMarcus Aldridge or Greg Oden. It was a name that, up until then, I had never been asked about.

“Do you know Bob Medina?”

“Of course,” I replied, though he’s always been Bobby or Coach Medina to me.

Turns out Fernando, who works with Sergio on strength and conditioning in the offseason, is a longtime admirer of Coach Medina’s work, an admiration that predates Sergio’s arrival in Portland.

“I used to read a lot of Bob Medina,” said Fernando. “I have never speak with him but I think I have the same vision of (strength and conditioning) because I agree with a lot of the things that he says in his books and articles.”

Up until then I was unaware Coach Medina was a published author, and it’s rather embarrassing that I had to go thousands of miles away from Portland to be informed of that fact by Fernando. As fate would have it, a book co-authored by Coach Medina got Fernando, who is working on is doctorate in strength and conditioning, interested in field.

“The first I hear about Bob Medina was in a library years ago,” explained Fernando. “Since I began in basketball I have a clear idea and that idea was that strength and conditioning in the NBA must be special because you look at the players bodies and only see the structural view, they are different than Europeans.

“That’s the first time I start to have an interest about strength and conditioning coaches in the United States. I start to look in libraries if there were any books telling about strength and conditioning in the NBA and I find a book and Bob Medina is one of the writers. It’s NBA Power Conditioning. The first time I see him was in a photo when he was in Seattle SuperSonics with Gary Payton. That’s the first time I read about it.”

In speaking with Fernando, you can tell he has a passion for strength and conditioning in athletics, similar to that of Coach Medina. Fernando, pictured above, even bares a slight resemblance to Bobby. And both have a close relationship with Sergio.

“Sergio speaks very well of Bobby,” said Fernando. “He says he’s a great professional. Sometime maybe I will meet him.”


BN Man said...

If we're going to keep drafting Spaniards, we should hire the guy. Looks like Claver could benefit from some work with him.

Richard said...

Come on Casey, can't you set something up so this guy can meet the man who inspired him to get his doctorate? Pretty cool story, with all the Spanish players we keep drafting, maybe we should make him an overseas trainer for us.

Macrovox said...

That's a brilliant idea. Take Fernando on retainer to keep an eye on all our Euros offseason conditioning. Bring Kopponen, Freeland, and the rest of them in for mini-camp and planning a regimen to get them NBA-level physiques for overpowering their European competition and their eventual trip to the States.