Spain coach Scariolo reveals Ricky Rubio wanted to make comeback with national team

2024-02-13T15:53:39+00:00 2024-02-15T17:46:27+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

13/Feb/24 15:53

Ricky Rubio is set to once again play basketball and he may do that with the Spanish national team.

By Eurohoops Team /

Spain coach Sergio Scariolo revealed that Ricky Rubio expressed to him his desire to make his much-anticipated basketball comeback with the national team. The veteran guard will get that opportunity in the upcoming 2025 EuroBasket Qualifiers.

“He [Rubio] told me: ‘I would like my first official game to be with the national team because I feel a special bond with you, with the national team and my teammates,” Scariolo said. “It was very emotional when he called me to say it. I was waiting to receive that call and it was a great joy. I was in the hospital with my mother and I told her ‘Stay here, this is important.”

Rubio could be playing his first basketball game since April 2023 and the first round of the NBA playoffs with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In August, he announced that he was taking a break from basketball so that he could take care of his mental health.

After announcing his retirement from the NBA in January, Rubio joined his former club Barcelona for practices and then signed a contract with the team for the rest of the season. It was still unclear when he would step on the floor in a match again.

His return to basketball can very well happen on February 22 when the Spanish national team hosts Latvia in Zaragoza.

“We have been in constant contact, from this summer until three days ago,” Scariolo added on the process of having Rubio back with the Spanish national team. “He has been telling me how he was doing, he has remained in good physical condition from day one. How he has incorporated basketball, how felt prepared to start training with contact and finally being able to join the training sessions of a very high-level professional team like Barça, and then consider a return to competition.”

“Above all, it is having one of our own again, one of the most significant members, for his contribution on a technical and personal level to the team,” Scariolo also mentioned. “We can’t expect the World Cup MVP, returning to the best version of yourself requires time. We have to have patience to see him in a very high-level version, although I’m sure he will deliver some highlights”.

Photo: Getty Images