By Rigas Dardalis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
He is one of the biggest talents of Italian basketball, something he showed in the last Euroleague game of EA7 Milano against Olympiacos. Being only 21 years old, Nicolo Melli already carries years of experience as a professional basketball player and during summer, he will be automatically eligible for the NBA draft. Being 6 ft 10 and shooting like a guard, he is already under the radar of NBA executives and Eurohoops.net met him before the exhibition game against the Celtics asked him about the possibily of playing one day in the best basketball league of the world. Something that would give great joy to his American mother who has won a silver medal in volleyball during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles! As he said “it’s not a goal, but it’s a dream. I think everybody has this kind of dream and I hope that one day that this dream, may become true”.
-Your mother is American. Did you grow up with an American mentality and having as a dream to play in the NBA;
“Yes maybe this is one of the reasons that I would like to play in the NBA. Maybe because I would like to have the same lifestyle with my mother. I grew up with her having this mentality, but it’s not an obsession to top go over there and play. If they give me a chance, I will be happy to go and try. If not, I’m happy to stay here. This is my last year that I can be drafted, I don’t have chance to say yes or no. We will see what happens”.
-Fotsis played in the NBA and Bourousis had the chance to sign there. Have you talked with them about it;
“I talk a lot with my teammates. I know that Fotsis likes a lot to stay in Europe, he had great experience in Memphis, but he likes to play in Greece or here in Italy. Yiannis would like to play one day in the NBA. I think it’s a good opportunity, if it comes. We will see what happens”.
-How is it playing next to two Greek guys like Bourousis and Fotsis;
“It’s funny. They talk to each other in Greek and it’s very funny. But outside of the funny part, they are really good players, so it’s easy for us to play with them, as they are also very good guys”.
-You agree that this season, Armani is the favourite to win the Italian league and not Siena;
«I think that during the summer, we built a great team. I think we have more chances than others to win this championship, but now it’s on us to try to achieve this goal. We will see what will happen, hopefully we can win it».