Italian Basketball Looks Westward: College Basketball's Azzurri

Dec 21, 2018 626

BY: Andrea Cassini

The future of Italian basketball looks westward. Inside United States limits, to be exact, where Nico Mannion looks like he might have a sensational career. Arizona's redhead, a five-star recruit already committed to the Wildcats, has chosen to represent the nation of his mother, Gaia Bianchi, an Italian former volleyball player. He made his first appearance with the Azzurri during Italy’s FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifying campaign in 2018 and impressed at this level.

The match resulted in a defeat against the Netherlands, but Nico showcased flashes of the talent, supported by coach Sacchetti, that will likely eventually grant him the starting point guard spot for years to come. Nico won't compete among the NCAA Division 1 big guns until next year. But in the meantime, there are many other young Italian prospects to keep an eye on in the college ranks.

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