Isabelle Yacoubou: “The easiest decision I could make in my life!” La Tarbaise, the basketball star, explains his choice to end his career

the important thing
Freshly retired, Isabelle Yacobou recalls the decision to end her career. Her season at a high level, despite the injury, her new role in the team, the former member of the national team confides to us.

While the doubt simmered for a few weeks, at the beginning of the week you made the decision to end your career. Wasn't that too hard?

Honestly, no. I even think it's the most obvious decision I've had to make in my life, in my entire playing career. I always said that I dreamed of dying on stage, performing. The physical evidence struck me. Today, if my knees were still working, I would still be on the floor, but my body told me to stop. In the end, the answer was obvious.

Also read: Basketball (LFB): French champion Isabelle Yacoubou (Tarbes Gespe Bigorre) ends her playing career

So we can say that you don't regret ending your career at all?

Not nothing because I knew it was going to end this season one way or another. I came back for two seasons as a player. This kind of stopping is the best gift that life could give me. If I had repeated the season according to the standard from last year (the best pivot of the championship, op.a.), I might regret saying to myself that I could have done an extra year. I could never say I didn't push myself. I gave everything to the end to try to come back, but it was not possible. I gave myself soul and body and that is the most important thing to me.

You tore your meniscus at the end of 2023, you finally managed to return in 2024. In the end, you only played 9 games this season. How did you experience it?

I don't think we would have been talking about my age or retirement if I hadn't injured myself. I continued to play very good basketball this season. I've had health problems since I was little, so it was a sword of Damocles over my head for a long time. I was lucky that I never had a major injury until that injury. This is something we could not have predicted. When I got injured, we started talking with Fran├žois (Gomez, editor in chief) about the possible end of the season because I couldn't have surgery and the crack couldn't close on its own. I continued despite the inflammation with a schedule arranged to protect the crack.

Hence your new role from the bench.

Exactly. That was the deal with Fran├žois. It was the best possible management. The goal was to play about 15 minutes if the team needed, if rotations were needed. As was done in Montpellier. My role in the team changed, I was there to provide guidance and support if needed, but I was no longer in the lead role. It was going very well, but it wasn't enough.

It wasn't enough, especially because of the game in Charleville with 37 minutes played.

During the work, I did not exceed 19 minutes of the game, so obviously playing 37 was too much. But it was done under the conditions we know. When you play with five, it's obviously complicated.

That was your last game, and you don't know if this return against Charleville will have a special flavor for you?

It's not for me. For girls maybe. But I'm not going to talk to them about it or burden them emotionally with it. All of them are aware of what Charleville represents, except me, for us. Yes, you have to look for motivation, but I don't think this kind of motivation is necessary because, for example, it wouldn't speak to me as a player.

Today you are part of the TGB staff as an assistant. Did this re-conversion help you decide to quit?

Mandatory. Although I have no regrets, as I said, I still remain in the world of basketball. And in the end, when I left Bourges, when I came here, it was because of the project for two years as a player and three years as an assistant. I am ready for this new challenge and I feel it will go well.

Leave a Comment