“A long-term project, we will help him to grow and he will help us back.” Olimpia’s general manager, Christos Stavropoulos introduced Davide Moretti, the youngest player on the team, at 22, who has just returned to Italy after three years spent at Texas Tech where he played an NCAA championship game. “From the very first day I understood the high level of this organization. I will do my best to help this team win as much as possible.”

THE JUMP FROM COLLEGE BASKETBALL – “It will be a great challenge, because the NCAA game is different from the Italian league and the EuroLeague game. In Italy I have played when I was 16 and I was not an important player. If the Coach deems it right, I will try to be ready and adjust quickly to the different level of physicality that exists. But I will prepare to get there right from the start.”

IMPROVEMENTS – “I have to improve at the defensive end of the floor, try to understand well, as a playmaker, how to make the team function at the right time and in the right way.”

THE ADJUSTMENT – “During my journey from Pistoia until last year I have always had a period of adjustment to the new teams. The first months I have always struggled, especially in terms of physicality and rhythm. Then when I understood how it works, I found a way to give my best and play well. It has happened in all my past experiences, but I hope not to have to wait six or seven months and to be able to adjust in a few months. It is above all a basketball matter, because I count a lot on my mental toughness which is my strength.”

COACH MESSINA – “Being called by a legendary coach like Ettore Messina is a source of pride. The relationship is forming, but I immediately felt his charisma and it is one of the reasons that led me to join this project”.

WHAT TO GIVE TO MILAN – “What I can bring is the desire to win, to improve every day to help the team, by always giving 110%, practice or game, to improve my teammates, too. This is the most important thing I can use of my American experience.”

THE ROLE – “I am available to what Coach thinks it’s right, we have a lot versatile player, including me, I can play the point and as the off guard, I can be a shooter, I can make the team function, they are the things I do best. Whatever I am asked to do, I will do it.”

 THE CHALLENGE OF GUARDING EUROLEAGUE PLAYMAKERS – “It’s motivating. I have played before against great guards, great scorers, I think of Devonte Graham, who is now in the NBA, I’m not afraid, I just have to prepare and study as much as possible, improving day by day.”

THE CHOICE TO COME HERE – “Coming here after college is like jumping on a launching pad, a new beginning. I had clear ideas, but after everything that happened in the world, the plans changed. I reflected, I listened to everybody, and I tried to understand what the best step was. Milan I thought was the perfect step to take. I came here to be coached by Messina, to learn from Sergio Rodriguez, Malcolm Delaney and Andrea Cinciarini. At Texas Tech I felt great, but I had an opportunity that I couldn’t miss.”

HIS DAD PAOLO – “He was always awake at night watching the games that I was playing in the States, giving me advice. The first year at Texas Tech was difficult, I didn’t speak English well, I was alone, and he was there to tell me the right thing right, when I played little or badly. We have a special relationship. The fact that he was a great player is stimulating, I want to try to be better than he was.”

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