By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Olimpia Milano forward Gigi Datome became the leading scorer among Italian players in EuroLeague history Friday (26/11) in the game his team against Olympiacos Piraeus. He passed former EuroLeague champion Gianluca Basile.
Datome entered the match vs. Olympiacos with 2,157 points and needed six to move above Basile. He scored 12 and is now on the top of the list that also features Gregor Fucka, Denis Marconato and two active players: CSKA Moscow guard Daniel Hackett and Datome’s teammate Nicolo Melli.
Gianluca Basile scored 2,163 points over the course of his EuroLeague career, playing for four different teams, Fortitudo Bologna, Barcelona, Cantù and, in his last season, Milan (2012/13). Gigi Datome surpassed him last night, becoming the new Italian record holder for points scored in the top continental competition, with 2.169 points. His first point was scored on February 24, 2005 when he was 17 and playing for Siena. The opponent was Cibona Zagreb. His team won 90-62.
In his career, Datome scored 71 points with Siena, 205 with Roma, then 1,538 at Fenerbahce and 355 with Olimpia. Analyzing the stats of the two Italian top scorers we can realize how that the scoring average are similar. Basile averaged 9.7 points per game, Datome is averaging 8.7 points. Basile was more of a volume player, Datome is more accurate. For example, while Basile was a 36.6 percent three-point shooter for his career, which is really good, Datome is a 44 percent shooter and, among those who have made at least 300 threes, only Petteri Koponen was more accurate. Datome is 91 percent free-throw shooter for his career. Basile, who earned a significant number of trips to the line, was a 81 percent shooter.
There is another aspect linking them: they are two Italian players who have won the European title while playing for a foreign team. Basile in 2010 won the EuroLeague with Barcelona, Datome in 2017 won it with Fenerbahce. If we look at the top six Italian scorers, five have won the EuroLeague while playing abroad (Gregor Fucka and Denis Marconato at Barcelona in 2003; Daniel Hackett at CSKA in 2019) and the sixth is Nicolò Melli who did not win it but played two Final Fours and appeared in a championship game. The pedigree of the subjects makes the Datome record meaningful.