By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Upsets in sports are not rare, but Dolomiti Energia Trento winning the road game against 7Bet-Lietkabelis Panevezys last week was totally unexpected, both the result and the game-winner.
Trento is a BKT EuroCup regular, but this was their first road win after 24 straight losses away from home. The previous time they celebrated away from Italy dated back 1,078 days to 2020 when they beat Promitheas Patras in Greece.
At the time, Quin Ellis was finishing high school in Britain and nobody could predict what the future was holding for him in Italy.
However, he had the pedigree, being a family member of basketball royalty in his country.
“The queen of basketball”
Born in 2003, Ellis comes from a long line of basketball greats in the women’s game in the UK. He is the grandson of Betty Cordona OBE, named locally as “the queen of basketball.” She passed away in 2022, aged 83, and she is considered one of the most important and influential figures in the history of British basketball.
Among other things, she founded the Sheffield Hatters club, and her daughter, Vanessa Ellis, is the current Sheffield Hatters coach.
Vanessa Ellis is also Quin’s mother, so basketball is part of his DNA, despite low sport on the totem pole in his country.
Breaking the road curse
In Trento’s road win in Lithuania, Ellis finished with a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. What’s more, he made the winning shot, coming from beyond halfcourt on an inbounds play with 4 seconds left to get into the lane and hit a floating lefty shot over the outstretched hand of much taller Deividas Sirvydis.
Not bad at all considering that his playing experience at the top level has just started this season and he is only 20 years old. It was four years ago, when he was 16, that Ellis moved from Barking Abbey Academy in London to the Italian second division, first with Capo d’Orlando for three seasons and then with Casale Monferrato last season, before Trento signed him this summer.
Ellis has scored in double figures the last three EuroCup games and now averages 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Ellis is proving that he belongs and, most importantly, as he showed in Lithuania, that he is not scared of the moment. The win he secured over Lietkabelis was not just Trento’s first road win in three years, but its first this season in Group B. Two of its losses had come at home, as well.
“It was a big win for us just to get that zero off the board, to finally get a win,” he said after the game.
And who knew that a British basketball player who is just starting his career would be the one to save the day against a respectable opponent like Lietkabelis who clearly aims for the quarterfinals?
Ellis is bringing a breath of fresh air to Trento that was clearly beneficial last week and can spark even bigger successes.
As Ellis himself says: “Now, we’ll push to next week and try to get a streak in the EuroCup, which would be really good.”