Marco Belinelli, guard and captain of Segafredo Virtus Bologna, first in the league and third in the Euroleague, recently gave an interview to Mauro Meazza of Il Sole 24 Ore.
His words, go Bologna basketball:
“I went to the US when I was 19, I was a boy, I came back to Italy as a man. And I wanted to both accept the challenge of competing in the most difficult championship in the world and return to bring Virtus back to where it deserves to be.
The NBA? I realized the dream of every kid who plays basketball, which is to play with the most important players, but that also meant dealing with the absence of friends and distance from family. I no longer had all my reference points, my friends, my city, I was faced with a completely different world.
Thirteen years in the NBA is a long time. There came a time when I had to decide whether I wanted to stay in America and live a good life or go back and get back in the game. I had been away from Italy for years and for me it was a new challenge to return to Bologna, return to Virtus and bring it back to the level it should be at. And luckily it was all possible.”
Belinelli is scoring 13.9 points in the Euroleague – a career high in Europe’s premier competition, not bad for a 37-year-old… – in 22 minutes, shooting 49% from the field and 45% from three.