Ousmane Diop returned after a long pause: «The pressures? Basketball is my life, when I play I’m calm “
SASSARI. The body and the smile, the energy and the desire to split the world of a 2000 launched at full throttle towards its first season as a protagonist in Serie A. All controlled by a head that produces non-trivial thoughts and allows him to argue them. smoothly. «Yes, but let’s not exaggerate», says Ousmane Diop, jersey of Dynamo number 25, a ton of muscles smeared in a body of two meters and four.
The joy of returning. Six months off for surgery on a cartilage in the right knee, a summer dedicated to recovery and the first months of the season seen from outside. Finally, on Sunday the long Senegalese, who has been in Italy for 8 years now (“I haven’t seen my family since then,” he stresses) made his debut at Olimpia Milano. A decidedly hard impact. «For the first time in two years I felt small on the pitch – says Diop -, it’s the first thing I noticed coming from A2. Physicality is very high and we need to work on it: I think the level has risen a lot both in the Champions League and in the league. It was very nice to find the field after so much time and so many sacrifices. I am happy to be back to play even if clearly after five months of hiatus I am still not at 100%. I know I have to keep working, I will not back down ».
Use your head. In recent weeks, with Dinamo often in trouble, there has been a lot of talk about his return. His presence can give Cavina’s team a lot, but clearly it will take some patience. “From this point of view I am calm – assures Diop -, I try to do the things you need to help the team and in all honesty I have never felt pressure in my life playing basketball: it is my job and I do it with all of me same. Now that some important games await us, we don’t have to put pressure on us but we have to play with a light head: this week I saw the guys very concentrated and I think the last three outings are teaching us something to find ourselves. We have to rest assured, we have to follow the directives of the staff and it will certainly get better. Starting from Saturday with Trieste ».
The Cavina cure. In the last two seasons, in A2 with Turin, Diop has had Demis Cavina as his coach. «With him we work a lot and well – assures the long biancoblù – the important thing is to continue to follow him. Even in Turin we struggled at the beginning but we believed in him and in what he did, the results and what we did are there for all to see. It is important to keep following him and do the things he says. What can we improve on? Seeing what we did at the beginning in the Super Cup – says Diop, elected best Italian of the last season in A2 – it is our defense that must grow together. We stopped for a while apart from some races; if we grow in this respect we can play as we want ».
Watch out for Trieste. Tomorrow at 20.30 the Banco di Sardegna hosts the Allianz. It is mandatory to change pace after the last few defeats. «Right now the most important thing is to think about us and stay focused on us: we have to find ourselves, this week I saw great concentration and desire for redemption. Trieste is a strong team with dangerous longs, we all know the value of the outsiders: they have experience and points in their hands, they know how to win. We need these games – concludes Diop – tough to find ourselves ».