VALLADOLID (FIBA Americas Championship/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Injury-hit Edgar Sosa of the Dominican Republic has an opportunity to play professional basketball again after joining Blancos de Rueda Valladolid in Spain’s Liga Endesa for a trial this week.
Sosa, who turns 25 on 15 January, has endured a frustrating 19 months since breaking his tibia and fibula in a game against Panama at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship.
He had averaged 8.8 points and 2.8 assists in more than 20 minutes per game before the injury prevented him from playing in his country’s last five contests in Mar del Plata, where they managed to capture a bronze medal.
Sosa recovered just in time to feature at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Caracas, Venezuela, where they lost in the last game to Nigeria in a do-or-die battle for a spot at the London Games.
He then broke his foot in a pre-Olympic friendly with the United States, however, and has only just recovered full fitness.
Sosa, who played college basketball at Louisville for Rick Pitino, has just arrived at Blancos de Rueda.
“Physically, I feel 100%,” he said.
“I feel good and I'm just waiting to play.
“I'm confident (that I can earn a contract), but there is nothing written down.
“I still have to work hard this week and show the coaches that I'm ready to play.”
Sosa is relieved to be healthy.
“I'm fully recovered from the injury,” he said.
“I spent two months training with my (personal) coach in New York.
“What I was waiting for was to get a chance to play professionally and I got it. I am proud to be here.”
Sosa says he didn’t know if he would be able to help the Dominicans last year in Caracas until right before the OQT.
“I played at the pre-Olympic, but when we were in Venezuela I never practiced with the team but I played some minutes,” he said.
“And then, in the warm-up game against the United States, I broke my left foot in less than five minutes.
“The fracture wasn't a serious injury and after six weeks, I was okay. But I had to strengthen the leg.”
This isn't Sosa's first time playing in Europe. He played for Biella in Italy’s Lega A in the 2010-11 campaign.
To have the opportunity to compete in Spain is something he values a lot.
“I have heard a lot about the Spanish league,” Sosa said.
“I know that many people consider it to be the second-best league in the world after the NBA. I wanted to play here ever since I finished school at Louisville, but I went to play in Italy instead.
“I thought I would be given the chance to return to Italy with Biella, but they didn't give me that opportunity. There were many teams interested in the Lega Due but I didn't want to play in the Italian second division.”
As for where he sees himself fitting in with Blancos de Rueda, Sosa said: “I can play the two position (shooting guard), but I've played the one position (point guard) all my life and I think I'm better suited for that.”
Sosa is likely to be in the Dominican team when they compete at this year’s FIBA Americas Championship in Caracas, a qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.