|30 September 2011|
Basketball In Europe
By Jeff Taylor
|"He (Sabonis) still wants to play like he is 25" said Lithuanian Federation Secretary General Mindaugas Balciunas|
There is only good news coming out of Lithuania regarding Arvydas Sabonis as he continues his recovery from the heart attack he suffered earlier this week.
Well wishes have been pouring in from all over the world for Sabonis, one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
He should be released from a Kaunas hospital soon.
"He's improving every day, every hour," Lithuanian Basketball Federation secretary general Mindaugas Balciunas said to Basketball World News.
"He's moved out from intensive care to the regular heart care department.
"He's in better spirits. After five or six days, he'll be out of the hospital.
"It's just a question of time before he's fully recovered."
The phones has been ringing off the hook in Lithuania.
People want to know what happened, and how the legendary Sabonis is coping.
"We have been getting even more calls than before the EuroBasket," Balciunas said.
"People have been shocked by the news. But this is life.
"He's in his forties but still wants to play like he's 25.
"This shows his love for basketball.
"But sometimes you need to remember that everyone gets older and needs to be careful."
Sabonis had the heart attack while playing in a pick-up game of three-on-three at his academy.
Balciunas said: "He said, 'We were losing 2-1 and it was best-of-five, so we had to keep playing."
"They (Sabonis' team) ended up winning 3-2 but of course, then he wasn't feeling well.
"He had a very intense time at the EuroBasket and it was the first time that he played basketball since the EuroBasket, the first time that he went to the gym."
One of the good things that has happened in the aftermath for Sabonis is that he has been reminded of how many people genuinely care about him.
"He's gotten a lot of attention," Balciunas said.
"He got a nice bouquet of flowers and very warm wishes from (FIBA Europe Secretary General) Nar Zanolin, a friend of Lithuania and I'm sure he will continue to be a friend of our federation in the years to come.
"This gift from FIBA Europe and the others meant a lot to him."