All major professional sports teams face one recurring issue – childbirth. Most of the players on the courts are in their twenties and early-thirties, a time when a lot of families are having babies. In the case of Augusto Lima, Zalgiris Kaunas star center, the birth of his daughter occurred at the same time as his team’s semifinals match. Deciding whether or not Lima should miss the game was left up to the head coach, Sarunas Jasikevicius.
Coach Jasikevicius, a father of two, allowed Lima to go attend the birth of his first child, and Zalgiris still won the game, gaining a 2-1 lead in the best-of-three series. During the press conference, however, one “youngster” reporter, who is not a father, persisted questioning Jasikevicius about Lima’s absence. The coach defended his player from criticism and perfectly schooled the reporter about family values.
As for Lima, he posted on Instagram on Sunday, introducing his daughter, Alba to the world: “It is undoubtedly the best gift of my life,” Lima wrote in Spanish. He also publicly thanked Jasikevicius on Twitter: “There are a lot of different people and different coaches, but this man is so great… both on and off the court. Thanks, coach.”
Here’s the transcript of the exchange:
Reporter: Coach, what do you think about Augusto Lima going away in the midst of a series to attend the birth of his child?
Jasikevicius: What do I think about it? I allowed him to go.
Reporter: But is it normal for a player to leave the team during the semifinals?
Jasikevicius: Do you have kids? When you have kids, youngster, you’ll understand. Because that’s the height of human experience. Wow, that’s a good question really. Do you think basketball is the most important thing in life?
Reporter: No, but a semifinal is important…
Jasikevicius: To whom is it important?
Reporter: The team.
Jasikevicius: Which one?
Jasikevicius: Did you see the number of fans at the game? Important? When you see your first child, you will understand what the most important thing in life is. Because nothing can be more majestic in the world than the birth of a child. Not titles, not anything else. Augusto Lima is now in heaven, emotionally. I’m really happy for him.