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Davide Moretti’s dad influenced his passion, the U.S. experience made him stronger


At one point, during his three-year stay in Lubbock, Texas, playing for the Red Raiders, Davide Moretti entertained the thought of coming back to Italy. He was young, far from home, far from his family, far from everywhere he was accustomed to. But there’s something burning inside this young guy. And that something told him to stick with the plan. He went to the U.S. to improve, because in Italy he felt the room for improvement was not as big as it should have been for a 18-year old player. And in the States, he was far from his father Paolo legacy. Paolo Moretti was a great player, a superb shooter back in the day. Davide’s eyes are lighting up when he speaks with affection and admiration about his dad. And yet, his competitive spirit comes out. “I used to write down his successes, but I wrote plus one next to his resume: I wanted to be like him and maybe better.”

His father influence – “He affected me a lot: hen I was a child, we watched his VHS together, his time in Bologna, the derbies, he told me about a lot of anecdotes. My passion for the game was born at the time, on the family couch, and so my desire to be like him, to be better. I still have the bloc-notes where I wrote down his trophies, his records and next to them I wrote “plus one”. I wanted to do better than he did. His influence, his past affected me big time.”

His perception of how good his father was – “I got an idea, I’d have loved to watch him play closely. Unfortunately, I was just two when he decided to retire and obviously I don’t remember anything. From what I heard, what people is telling me, and some of the footage that I watched, I have an idea, I have a perception.”

The decision to move to the U.S. – “I wanted to challenge myself, I wasn’t a finished product as a player. At 18 I thought that my career had yet to start, so I wanted to improve, both from a human standpoint and in terms of basketball skills. So I challenged myself, I bet on myself, I invested in myself. I decided to think only about improving for a few years in order to become the best player I could be.”

The adjustment – “It was hard in the beginning, I couldn’t speak English well, I had to find out about a new kind of world, far from home, tasting a different culture. For a few months, I lived in my own bubble, I struggled to interact with other people, I couldn’t put together a smooth sentence. And my answer was to stay away, to look for home affection. It was the wrong thing to do, I had to open up, let the culture embrace me. When I did, after a few months, everything started to get better and finally I felt great.”

The dramatic improvement after his first year – “My first year was very difficult. Sincerely, I was on the verge of giving up and return home. Then, I convinced myself to stay, that Texas Tech was the right place for me. During the summer, I worked out every day, morning and night. I stayed two months and two more weeks in August. It was the key period of my life, because I changed and became the player I’m now, because of the hard work that I put up that summer.”

The NCAA Final experience – “It’s incredible. Two years removed, I’m still struggling to find the right words to talk about a unique experience. Even at the Olympics, you don’t get to play before so many people, it’s unheard of, I still have goosebumps thinking about it. I still have to watch the final against Virginia, because it still hurt me. We were so close to fulfill a dream for everybody. But I know I’ve been fortunate to taste that experience.”

The loss is still hurting? – “For months, maybe one year, it hurt a lot. I spent time second-guessing myself about what we could have done better, it hurt. After a while, I understood that it was a fantastic experience anyway, one that changed me, helped me, and now I remember mostly the good things that it left me.”

The expectations for this season – “I just want to help, bring my contribute, give 100 percent of myself every time out on the court, I want to help the team win as many games as possible. I think that I will be able to do it every time I will have the opportunity.”

What can he learn from the other guards? – “A lot. Since we enter the locker room or on the court, every day, I try to get even the smallest detail from guys I look up to. I’d like to be as similar as possible to them, one day, so I try to learn everything that I can. They do one thing and I try to emulate it, what they say, it’s a treasure for me.”

The first feeling in Milan? – “The adjustment is still in progress, there are a lot of things I need to improve on, but it’s a start and I’m satisfied about what I’m doing, but my desire is to continue to improve and to do it every single day.”