Achille Polonara is back, two months after the tumor the Italian player from Italbasket sets foot on the parquet again: “Beyond any effort”


By John

Gaunt, thin and bald. From Achille Polonarawho returned to tread a parquet and tame a ball in segments, it almost seemed as if only the number 33 tank top remained. The Virtus Bologna tank top, the same number also proudly worn in the national team: never been so wide even for a sculptural physique like that of the basketball player from Ancona. A metamorphosis common to those who are forced to unplug from their life… to defend it, fighting tooth and nail against the monster called cancer. An opponent who was also forced to face the 32-year-old Italian. Going from training to chemo couldn’t have been easy, especially because it wasn’t just a job that was put in jeopardy, but everything else as well; above all everything else. Family and passions put aside to fight. But perhaps his destiny is written in his name: Achilles. And just like the faster who inspired the myth, Polonara fought strenuously. And he’s back to wearing shorts and that 33 tank top. Two months out due to a testicular neoplasm, a CT scan, an operation and treatment – very tough – but always with the same thought: getting his life back, including basketball. The hug with the Bolognese fans, on the day of his return to the pitch, repaid him for the efforts made in these damned sixty days: «It was hard, but I’m used to going beyond the effort». For him, it was like jumping on a rebound, with the belief that he could bite that ball off, fighting against a terrible but not as determined opponent as him.