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Italy Olympic 2020 Men’s Basketball Roster

Sat 24 July 2021 | 10:30

In the following article from SportMob, we will have a look at the Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster and analyze Italy Olympic squad in Tokyo.

Italy has qualified for 12 Summer Olympics, winning two gold two silver medals in 1980 and 2004. While Italy has made nine trips to the World Cup, the closest they have to win a medal was in 1970 and 1978, where they finished fourth.

Currently, Italy is ranked 12th in the FIBA World Rankings. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy showed its most impressive performance to this point where it placed fourth, only behind the USA, USSR, and Brazil. Italy had so many stars in the past and is producing many starlets for the future, but their main target is to achieve a medal in the Olympics; as for this matter, coach Meo Sacchetti and Italy have bolstered their Olympic Games roster with the addition of Danilo Gallinari.

Gallinari, a 2.08m forward, brings some quality and experience to the roster. In the 2008 NBA draft, the sixth overall pick averaged more than 13 points per game in the 2020-21 regular season and followed that up with 12.8 points per contest in the playoffs. At the Olympics, Italy will go up against Australia, Nigeria, and Germany. The latter also won their way to Tokyo through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, taking the top spot in Split, Croatia.

Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster

has announced its squad to participate at the Tokyo in 2020 Olympic Games, which will take place in July and August 2021. Tokyo 2020 is already planning for an appointment that promises many of the best examples on the planet.

Great Basketball Excitement in Tokyo: Italy at the 2020 summer Olympics

12 selected will be present in Japan to get closer to the most desired: the podium that allows them to hang one of the Olympic medals. Argentina and the renewed illusion after the huge runner-up in the 2019 World Cup, with the last dance of captain Luis Scola and a Facundo Campazzo more leading than ever after his perfect debut in the NBA.

Spain presenting a battle with the last opportunity of several historical figures such as Pau Gasol to hang the gold that was so difficult in the last editions. As to Italy's roster, Nico Mannion, Marco Spissu, Alessandro Pajola, Stefano Tonut, Ricardo Moraschini, Michele Vitali, Giampaolo Ricci, Simone Fontecchio, Nicolo Melli, Danilo Gallinari, Amedeo Tessitori, Achille Polonara make up Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster.

Italy is looking for better achievements after being eliminated in World cup 2019 Group J. If you want to know some top-tier information about the

Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster

and see which players are included in the Italy men's Olympic 2020, keep reading.

Italy Olympic 2020 squad: Meet the Roster

Led by Danilo Gallinari, Italy Basketball unveiled its official 12-member

Italy men’s Olympic

2020

Basketball Team.

Selected for Italy at the 2020 summer Olympics, which is seeking a breakthrough, are Nico Mannion (Golden State Warriors), Marco Spissu (Sassari), Alessandro Pajola (Virtus Bologna), Stefano Tonut (Venezia), Ricardo Moraschini (Olympia Milano), Michele Vitali (Brose Bamberg), Giampaolo Ricci (Virtus Bologna), Simone Fontecchio (Alba Berlin), Nicolo Melli (Olympia Milano), Danilo Gallinari (Atlanta Hawks), Amedeo Tessitori (Virtus Bologna), Achille Polonara (Baskonia).

Nico Mannion - Point Guard

Nico Mannion is a talented all-around guard whose vision, promising shot-making ability, and strong feel for the game allowed him to make an immediate impact on scouts. Nico Mannion is the son of Pace Mannion, an American ex-NBA player who also spent time in Italy playing professionally.

Through marriage to an Italian woman, his son Nico was born in the Tuscany region of Italy, and as a result, holds dual citizenship between Italy and the United States. For this reason, he had the chance to select to represent the USA in international competitions, but he chose the national Italian senior team.

Mannion is a pass-first point guard who exudes a lot of style and flair in his ability to lead an offense and set up his teammates. He appears smaller than he really is on tape but has adequate size to operate in most backcourts. His handle is very clean, with silky smooth dribbles in tight spaces and a quick crossover to free himself for shots.

He is entertaining to watch in turnovers, as he can take the ball off a rebound and immediately use his vision and awareness to find teammates leaking out up the court for easy buckets. His feel for the game and touch is very evident in his mid-range game. He shows off his pretty floater frequently touches on his giant killer to counter rim protectors. Mannion is a very smooth pick-and-roll operator and largely makes the right read to find roller when possible.

There is an important promise that he can operate off the ball for stretches in a true combo guard role, as well. He has enough body control to allow him to turn off screens and shoot, even while fading to one side or spinning in the air to locate the basket on the fly. Surely He is one of the good factors of

Italy at the 2020 summer Olympics

.

Stefano Tonut – Point Guard

Stefano Tonut is the son of Alberto Tonut, the former Azzurro basketball player. In Azzurro, Alberto also won a Silver and a Gold at the Mediterranean Games of 1983 and 1993. He wore Trieste, Livorno, Cantu, Gymnastics Goriziana, Pallacanestro Goriziana, and Monfalcone jerseys.

Stefano Tonut grew up in the youth teams of Falconstar Monfalcone, the team with which he played in the B Dilettanti championship in 2010/2011. The following year he moved to Pallacanestro Trieste, the team with which he played the League championship. In 2015, Reyer Venezia signed in Serie A, the team with which he won two Scudetti (2016/2017 and 2018/2019). With Reyer, he also played in the FIBA ​​Champions League final, which then lost to Tenerife. In 2020/2021, he was named MVP of the Serie A Regular Season.

With the Senior National Team, he participated in the Pre-Olympic tournament held in Turin in 2016. In 2013 he won the Gold Medal at the Under 20 European Championship in Tallinn, Estonia.

In 2014 and 2015, he was part of the National Experimental. Tonut made his debut with the U-20 Italian national basketball team during FIBA Europe U-20 Championship on July 9, 2013, scoring 10 points with 2 steals in the winning game against Lithuania Under-20 Team. In 2015 he officially entered the Italian senior national basketball team.

Marco Spissu – Guard

Marco Spissu, 184 cm Guard was born in Sassari in 1995. In April 2010, at the age of 15, he was Italy's top scorer at the Regions trophy. Raised in the Dinamo Sassari youth teams, he debuted in the first team at 16 in the 2011-2012 season against Olimpia Milano. In the summer of 2011, he won the basketball tournament at the Jeux des Iles with his Sardinia, being awarded the competition's best player.

From the 2012-13 season, he was part of the first team of Dinamo Sassari. In August 2013, he went on loan to CUS Bari in DNA Silver. With CUS Bari, he won the Italian U-19 championship, also was elected MVP of the finals. In August 2015, he went on loan to Derthona Basket, coached by coach Demis Cavina.

With Derthona Basket, he closed the regular season with an average of 10.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and an 11.1 rating. In the playoffs, he plays 10 games up to the quarter-finals confirming the figures of the regular championship with an average of 10.1 points, 11.7 of evaluation pulling from three with 40%.

On 9 January 2016, he won the All-Star Game, which was held in Livorno. The young 20-year-old from Sassari imposed himself by making 13 consecutive 3 shots. On January 6, 2017, at just 21 years of age, he led Virtus in the success against rival Fortitudo. In Derby 104 in Bologna, he was elected MVP of the match scoring 20 points with 4/8 of three, with lots of quality plays in the decisive moments.

In the same year, he was the perfect hero of Serie A with Virtus Bologna, coached by Alessandro Ramagli. In the 2017/2018 season, after two years of loan in Serie A2, he returned to Dinamo Sassari in Serie A. Based on all experiences he touched and felt, it is safe to say Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster has a great star.

Riccardo Moraschini - Guard

194 cm and 92 kilos: An dynamic player, he can cover three roles and more. It was a season with ups and downs for Riccardo Moraschini. He started the season with good performances, even finding some important plays in the EuroLeague, as evidence against Villeurbanne and Real Madrid. Then he had the problem related to Covid when he was finding the best condition, and he had a hard time returning to regain the space and performance of the previous weeks. A long period of difficulty.

Excluded from the European rotations in the playoffs and from the semi-final against Barcelona, ​​he found a good form in the Italian playoffs. There was an excellent series of quarter-finals against Trento (perhaps the best red and white player overall), some good defensive and rebounding examinations in the semifinal with Venice, and returning to struggle in the final against Virtus.

Riccardo Moraschini still has one year on his contract with Olimpia, but his stay in Milan next season is uncertain. A lot will depend on how the Italian market will go and on how Messina and Stavropoulos will move in this sense. The player has repeatedly expressed his will to remain in red and white again next year. Sergio Rodriguez is a huge hand in the Italy men’s Olympic 2020 team.

Giampaolo Ricci – Power Forward

Giampaolo Ricci was born in Rome on September 27, 1991, in stature, strong forward, coming from Virtus Bologna. He is nicknamed "Goofy." “Ricci has the technical and human characteristics to integrate well into our project, reinforcing the long department and at the same time the values ​​we believe in,” says general manager Christos Stavropoulos.  In 2014 he won the GIBA Oscar as the most improved player in the DNA Silver championship. In 2017 he won the University Basketball European Championship with the CUS Bologna jersey.

Giampaolo Ricci grew up in Chieti, where he started playing basketball in the Magic Chieti club before moving to Pallacanestro Chieti and Stella Azzurra Roma in 2007 to stay there until 2011. From 2011 to 2015, he played in A2 in Casalpusterlengo, and then he was. He spent a year in Verona and another in Tortona, where he contributed 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, earning the call in Serie A. In Cremona, he spent two years winning the Italian Cup in 2019.

In the summer of 2019, he moved to Virtus Bologna, where he played two seasons, winning the 2021 Italian title. In the 2019/20 season, he scored 9.2 points with 4.9 rebounds per game; in 2020/21, it was 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds. In Eurocup last season, he started as a quintet in 20 out of 21 races, averaging 6.4 points and 3.8 rebounds. After the youth teams in Chieti, he went to the Blue Star. From summer 2021, he is at Olimpia Milano, and some signs show he has a special place in the Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster.

Simone Fontecchio – Small Forward

Born in 1995 in Pescara, Simone Fontecchio's destiny seemed already written, given that he comes from a family of sportsmen. The mother, Amalia, is, in fact, a former basketball player and coach, the father, Daniele, was indoor European vice-champion on 60 meters’ hurdles. Therefore, Simone and his older brother Luca grew up on the basket from an early age. If a player has generated more wonder in Italy and abroad, it is certainly Simone Fontecchio.

Simone has found his dimension in the EuroLeague under coach Aito Garcia who did not consider him up to a challenge like this. His play away from the ball is important for the Berlin system, suggesting that he will play a significant role in the team, even if his percentages and efficiency fail. If he can keep up with his commitment, he will be able to have the confidence of his coach for a longer time and consequently get the chance to show off in the attack. 

“Honestly, up to 2-3 years ago, I would never have imagined leaving Italy, much less living a similar experience. Living abroad, however, is an experience that I feel I can recommend to many of my younger colleagues. Last year I was supposed to sign a one-year contract with the Reggio Emilia club.

But, after the season, the situation in Italy was not the best with the lockdown and the stop of the championships. In short, this opportunity did not arise, and I must say that, in reality, I am thrilled that things went like this." said Simone Fontecchio in an interview. Still, his presence at the Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster as one of the stars of the

Italy men's Olympic 2020

is real proof on this matter.

Nicolo Melli – Center

Nicolo Melli was born on 26 January 1991. He is an Italian professional basketball player for Olimpia Milano of the Italian LBA and EuroLeague. Melli has many characteristics, but the most important one is Melli can act as a connective tissue on offense, offering floor-spacing around pick-and-rolls and post-ups, facilitating for others on hand-offs and out of short rolls, and posting up smaller players on switches.

On the other end, he can execute the plan and hold up on the defensive half-pint but lacks the athleticism to make a difference in rim protection or offer versatility picking up smaller players on switches. He is a brilliant player on offense with a lot of versatility to his screening. He is adept at widening his base to draw contact and disrupt the on-ball defender, setting moving picks away from the ball to free up shooters drifting around the wing, flipping the screen or re-screening at the point of attack to try getting the ball-handler downhill, and slipping the screen when he reads the two defenders setting up to trap the ball handler.

His court vision and the touch in his deliveries can be leveraged with him facilitating offense on hand-offs and hitting cutters or shooters on cross-court passes from the elbows as well. He is also a ball mover who consistently makes the extra pass. Melli is more comfortable from midrange but has proven himself capable of getting his shot off from three-point range if not rushed through his mechanics. Melli is attentive to his responsibilities drifting around the wing to sustain proper spacing and relocates to offer trapped teammates a clearer passing lane.

Melli doesn’t bend his knees a whole lot to get down in a stance. He is attentive to his responsibilities; stepping up to the front of the rim, acting as the last line of defense, and going up off two feet in a pinch isn’t a chore for him, but Melli is not an explosive enough leaper to act as a constant shot-blocking threat.  In addition to all these traits, he is one of Italy's 2020 summer Olympics primary stars.

Danilo Gallinari - Power Forward

Born on 8 August 1988, Danilo Gallinari begins to take his first steps in basketball in some of the Milanese youth teams. Olimpia Milano buys the player, and their teams in the red and white Gallinari show off his talent, enough to be named best young Serie A. In 2008, Gallinari flew to America to the New York Knicks of Mike D'Antoni, selected as the 6th overall pick in the draft NBA.

After three years in New York, the Rooster is involved in an important exchange to bring Carmelo Antony in the Big Apple and thus finds himself in Denver. With the new jersey, he sets a career-high of 47 points against the Dallas Mavericks: an absolute record for an Italian basketball player in the NBA. Danilo Gallinari moved from Italy to the USA at just twenty years old.

His career in various NBA teams has guaranteed him important earnings, so much so that he has been defined as the highest-paid Italian sportsman in the world since 2017. Gallinari's current contract in Atlanta is 61.5 million dollars.

After six years, Gallinari changes the franchise and joins the Clippers. In November 2020, Gallinari signed a contract with the Hawks, showing all his enthusiasm for the project. In fact, the experience in Atlanta proved to be a winner, so much so that Gallinari and his teammates made it to the Eastern Conference Final against the Bucks. Gallinari is, without question, instantly one of the best players on the roster and someone who should garner significant usage.

One of the NBA's most gifted pure scorers: instinctive, with a shooting guard's skills and a power forward's height and wingspan. He has an excellent feel for the game—a smart and creative passer who takes care of the ball. He doesn't have an explosive first step long and is an underrated athlete, limiting him in some one-on-one defensive assignments.

He can steal the ball far more often. Would benefit by going to the hoop more often, and too often settles for the jumper. Injury-prone and can use more muscle mass to add durability. Gallinari’s great basketball intelligence – combined with his craft learned in over 10 years of the NBA – has allowed him to develop areas of the game where he can still affect even the most important stage so that he will be a useful weapon for Meo Sacchetti in the

Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster.

Amedeo Tessitori - Forward

Raised in the Virtus Siena youth teams, he made his debut in the first team in the 2010/2011 season, playing the then Serie A Dilettanti. In the same year, he won the LNP Italian Cup with the Tuscans, resulting in the MVP. With the Virtus Siena youth teams, he won the Under 15 Scudetto in 2009 and the Under 17 Scudetto in 2011. In September 2012, he was bought by Dinamo Sassari, who gave him on loan to Fulgor Forlì in the then League.

He made his debut in European competitions and contributed to the victory of the Italian Cup. With the Piedmontese Club, he played two excellent years’ worth the call for a historic square of Italian basketball, Treviso. In Veneto, he won promotion in A1 and the Italian LNP cup. In the 2019/2020 season in the De Longhi shirt, he played 21 games with an average of 18 minutes, 8 points, and 4.6 rebounds. After appearances in the youth national teams, Amedeo became a player of the senior national team, with which he also played in the last Chinese world championship, which ended with 6.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.6 minutes.

With the Senior National Team, he participated in the World Cup in 2019 in China. He played 4 editions of the European Youth Championships, two of which were in 2012. Many experts believe his appearance in the Italy basketball Olympic 2020 team will bring most of his teammates.

Achille Polonara – Power Forward

Achille Polonara, born on November 23, 1991, is an Italian professional basketball player for Fenerbahce. He plays as a power forward. After progressing through the youth ranks of Banca Tercas Teramo, Polonara debuted in the first division, the Serie A, on the first game of 2009-10 though he rarely featured that season and played sparingly the next.

During the 2011-12 season, he played more regularly with 8.2 points and 4,5 rebounds in 15.6 minutes on average. Some came from a galactic performance against Fabi Shoes Montegranaro in April with 34 points 9 rebounds for a valuation of 46. This helped the youngster win the Best Player Under 22 award for the season. He was also selected for the Serie A All-Star Game. In 2017, he signed for Dinamo Basket Sassari, where he played for two more seasons in the Italian Basketball League.

An important part of Sassari, who won the FIBA Europe Cup that season, Polonara supported his team with an average of 12.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in the FIBA Europe Cup. Polonara started playing for the youth squads of the Italian national team, first with the Under-18's at the 2009 European Championship. He notably won the silver medal with the U20's at the 2011 European Championship, where he was an important contributor, including being the best performer in the semifinal against France.

Polonara was called up to the preliminary squad of the senior team as a substitute replacement for the injured Nicolo Melli as they prepared for EuroBasket 2013. However, he himself later picked an ankle injury and was dropped from the squad. He would rejoin the senior side in 2014, scoring 20 points on his genuine debut against Germany; he then became a regular in Italy squads.

Participating in the successful EuroBasket 2015 qualification, he played in all 4 games with an average of 3.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 8.5 minutes. He was called up to the squad that would take part in EuroBasket 2015 to start on 5 September. Therefore, it is safe to say being on the

Italy Olympic 2020 men’s basketball roster

is a huge chance for him to continue his national career in the best possible way.

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