By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
One of the greatest coaches in European basketball history, Ettore Messina of AX Armani Exchange Milan, is the newest guest on The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas. Messina is one of just five coaches to become a continental champion four times, one of three to do so in the Final Four era, and holds the honor of winning the title at the start of the current century in the only five-game final series ever to decide the winner.
His roots are in Venice, Italy, where at 17 years old, after he missed free throws in a regional final for his junior team at Reyer, well-known pro coach Tonino Zorzi steered him into the profession after having observed Messina helping coach another of the youth teams in his free time.
“He told me, ‘You’re not going to be a player, you’re not good enough. But I saw you in the gym with the young kids, and I think you can become a good coach,'” Messina recalls. “I thought about that two days, and I said, ‘You know what, let’s go. Let’s do it. And that’s how I got my start.’ To this day – and it might sound stupid, because I have had the luck to have a good career – but to this day, I miss playing. Even now, before every practice, while my players stretch, I shoot. I can’t stop doing that. I miss the experience of having been a player.”
Check out their conversation in the stream below:
Head to euroleague.net to find out more.