Sept. 28, 2009
BERKELEY - CalBears.com sat down with Hector Jimenez to talk about the junior midfielder's career so far with California. The 5-9, 140-pound product of Bell Gardens, Calif., currently leads the Golden Bears with a career-high tying seven assists and is tied for second place in points with nine. A member of the 2008 All-Pac-10 first team, Jimenez played in 17 games last year before a leg injury curtailed his season.
CalBears.com: How is your season going so far?
Hector Jimenez: It's going very well. We're starting out strong, and everyone on the team is focused in the right direction
CalBears.com: Were you anxious to get the season started after you missed games late last year with a broken leg?
HJ: Yes, I couldn't wait to get started again. I was counting down the days to put that Cal soccer jersey on again. I had never been injured before, so I was not used to sitting down watching other guys play soccer. I was on crutches all the time. I kept thinking and waiting for my chance to play again.
CalBears.com: How is your leg now?
HJ: My leg is back to normal and probably stronger than before. I don't notice any slowing down or lack of flexibility.
CalBears.com: What types of rehabilitation therapy did you do to recover from your injuries?
HJ: At first I did swimming so that I would not lose my cardio (base), and then I started running on the Alter G, which is a treadmill that allows you to run while it supports a certain percentage of your body weight.
CalBears.com: When did it heal and when were you able to start running again?
HJ: It healed about 3-4 months after surgery, and I started running a couple of weeks after that.
CalBears.com: How difficult was last season after you got hurt so close to the postseason and then watched your team go deep in the NCAA tournament without you?
HJ: It was really difficult. It is so frustrating to watch your brothers and wish you could be there to help them, but there is nothing you can do.
CalBears.com: Did you travel to the playoff game against Maryland, which ended your team's 2008 season?
HJ: Unfortunately, I wasn't able to travel and that was the worst part of being hurt. I wish I was there to play, of course, but it was so hard being home alone in Berkeley while all my teammates were gone. I watched the game on GameTracker, the Internet site, and it was really stressful. I can now appreciate the family and friends who can only watch our away games on GameTracker.
CalBears.com: You're picking up right where you left off, as you have seven assists in eight games so far, and the team has a 6-2-0 record. How good do you think the team will be this season?
HJ: I have been lucky to get a lot of assists because I have such good players to feed the ball to. The team is looking good. We have a lot of experienced players and good young talent. Coach recruited a great freshman class. I think we can go far this year. The guys are all committed to winning. We just have to focus on the little things and only take one game at a time.
CalBears.com: What are your hobbies?
HJ: Basketball. Listening to music. Dancing. Playing FIFA with my teammates. When I am back home, I like to go fishing with my Dad.
CalBears.com: What are your career goals after Cal?
HJ: Hopefully I will play soccer at the next level and earn a living doing that. And when I am done, I want to use my social welfare degree to help kids. I have done some community service with kids, and it is a special thing to do.