Bob Delaney has worked as an NBA referee for more than two decades. He's had surgery on the meniscus in both knees (once from wear and tear and once from breaking up the infamous Shaquille O'Neal/Charles Barkley fight) and rehabbed at Bollettieri Sports Medicine. Now rehabbing from a partially torn Achilles, Delaney spends at least three days a week at Bollettieri Sports Medicine at IMG Academy. The Sarasota resident talks about why he chooses IMGA:
"I've known Nick for 20-plus years and (Athletic & Personal Development program director) Trevor Moawad for years, but I do this for myself. Even though I interact with them, I'm here as a client. I come here when I have a problem, and the trainers fix me and get me going again. IMGA understands all of the other ripple effects that come from an injury.
"I believe in the concept of what takes place here so strongly that I've brought other NBA and NFL officials. You're not getting this anywhere else. What happens here for the athlete, we, as officials, should be adopting, because we're no different. We're part of the game.
"With the mental conditioning, I continue to be here, even when I'm not recovering from an injury. I need their help to keep me focused and as sharp as I can be. At game on, with Steve Shenbaum, I learn how to better communicate with players, with coaches and with other officials.
"From an official's standpoint, I have to keep improving, because the athletes keep improving. If we don't, we get lost in the game. IMGA has the total building-block concept -- the physical, mental and communications side -- that continues to help me. "