Garcia upbeat about India stint
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A day into the start of his stint as India's women's basketball coach, Spaniard Francisco Garcia came down with a case of Delhi Belly. In a way Garcia had followed the path of an India international basketball coach before him - Kenny Natt of the men's team lost nearly 20kg after a particularly bad case. Garcia's illness, however, lasted just a couple of days. Having recovered he is raring to go to prepare the squad for the Asian Championships in October.
"Both India and I will have to adapt to each other," said Garcia. "But I feel that I will have to adapt a little bit more."
Garcia replaced Pete Gaudet, who had coached teams at the highest levels in American college basketball, including positions at West Point, Duke University, Vanderbilt, and the Ohio State University. And while Garcia, at 41, is 30 years younger that Gaudet, it isn't as if the Spaniard is short on experience.
He has been involved in women's professional programmes in Spain, Denmark, and Finland and has coached various Spanish Federation Youth National Development camps and recently served as a private development coach for a number of Spain's national players including Amaya Valdermoro, a three-time WNBA champion.
Garcia has coached for 23 years, or more than half his life. This although he was a late starter as regards his basketball career. "Initially I was a football player but my friends introduced me to basketball when I was 18. I didn't give orders to my fellow players but the ten-year-olds at the club would request me to help them out.
It's funny because I knew just about as much as them at that stage. So I would learn myself and then apply that knowledge to help them out as well," says Garcia. "While I wanted to play more rather than coach, the seniors at the club had seen enough of me to suggest that I stick to coaching and after three years of playing, I decided to make the shift."