CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Giorgi Bezhanishvili is handling social distancing the best way he knows how—by dancing. The Illinois forward has spent his free time making videos for the popular social media platform TikTok. He’s hoping his positivity will bring a light to many during a dark time.
“If you are able to get through adversity like this with a smile and with some humor, I think it’s a great thing to do,” says Bezhanishvili. “I encourage people to get out of their comfort zone, and try to do something that will influence them positively.”
“We all know Giorgi, we know he can stay entertained pretty easily, ” says Illinois head Coach Brad Underwood. “He told me was trying to master walking on his hands, and doing headstand pushups, and he seems to be handling everything pretty well.”
Bezhanishvili is one of the few Illini still on campus. It was difficult for him to get back to Europe with travel restrictions and safety concerns. The sophomore guard says he talks to his family on the phone everyday, and is always getting advice from his brother,.
“It has really been a challenge for me, and it was through the encouragement of my brother to do this,” says Bezhanishvili. “I haven’t really done a lot of relaxing in the past, and now I can just sit down and relax, and think about stuff and now I can just sit down and relax and sit down to music and try not to think about anything, and just go with the flow.”
The time to relax is needed for after long season, with the Illini training since the summer, starting with their trip to Italy in August. But the abrupt cancellation of the season ended months of hard work for the Illini who didn’t get to play in the NCAA tournament.
“It’s really heartbreaking to be honest, I’m still heartbroken, especially for the seniors,” says Bezhanishvili. “It’s really a bad thing, but this is way bigger than a game of basketball and all the work we put in. This issue is so much bigger and it impacts the entire world, and I have understanding of that as well.”
While the Illini didn’t get the opportunity to head to the Big Dance this season, Bezhanishvili is still finding a way to dance.