Team Sunrise
Francisco Sánchez Lara

Francisco Sánchez Lara

Wheelchair Basketball

Their Journey

"You always have to aim to be the best and fight for it until the very end."

Francisco Sánchez Lara

Born on the 11th August 1989 in Bolanos de Calatrava Spain, Francisco Sánchez Lara has always been a very humble person who appreciated friendship. A car accident at the age of 14 resulted in Francisco needing to rely on a wheelchair for his mobility. During his rehabilitation at the National Hospital of Paraplegics, Francisco first encountered wheelchair basketball. "After my accident, I began to see things differently and to value what I have. I've never stopped fighting and consider myself a born fighter. It was at the National Hospital of Paraplegics where I had the opportunity to experience wheelchair basketball. I started to practice it and felt the buzz from it".

After winning a silver medal at World Sub22 in Paris, Francisco decided that he wanted to pursue wheelchair basketball professionally. "The first time I played Wheelchair basketball marked a key moment in my life. I'd never played it before and now it's part of my everyday life. It's not just a job - it's a way of life. It's a sport that helps you to improve yourself and open your mind to new things, goals and objectives. It also improves your health, your quality of life and builds friendships that will last a lifetime".

Initially playing with the Toledo Team, Francesco then joined Getafe BSR, a sports team that he's still a member of today. Moving to Italy for a year, Francesco learned a lot both professionally by competing with a different league and personally by experiencing different cultures - helping to shape Francesco into the man he is today. "My passion is my basketball. I live for it. It gives me energy, it bring that most out of me. It requires sacrifice yet it gives me more than it takes. Friends for life, the opportunity to travel, the different way of thinking, sharing joys and sorrow - it's just a wonderful world to be a part of".

The highlight of his career so far was competing in London 2012, the first time a Spanish team had qualified in nearly 16 years, and it was an experience Francesco wouldn't change for anything. "The feeling of being there at such a young age is something that I wouldn't change for anything. But the most important thing for me going forward is to reach the top of the podium. You always have to aim to be the best and fight for it until the very end".

Francisco Sánchez Lara, Wheelchair Basketball

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Road to Glory

2016

Paralympic Games (Rio)

Silver Medal

2015

European Championships (Worcester)

Ranked 5th

2014

World Championships (Korea)

Ranked 4th

2013

European Championships (Frankfurt)

Ranked 3rd

2012

Paralympic Games (London)

Ranked 5th

2011

European Championships (Nazareth)

Ranked 3rd

2010

European Championships (Adana)

Ranked 7th

European Championships (Cantu)

Under 22 - Ranked Eighth

2009

World Championships (Paris)

Under 22 - Runner-Up

2008

European Championships (Adana)

Under 22 - Champion