Nicolò Melli on Gigi Datome: “I’m grateful to have met him during my life”

2023-09-09T16:02:16+00:00 2023-09-09T16:02:16+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

09/Sep/23 16:02

One of his best friends on and off the court said what means for him being able to call Gigi Datome a person to trust

By Cesare Milanti /

MANILA, Philippines – Italy ended its adventure in the 2023 FIBA World Cup with a loss against Slovenia, but all eyes have been straight from the beginning on Gigi Datome, who officially said goodbye to the game of basketball.

Stopping by in the mixed zone, one of his best friends Nicolò Melli talked about what this night meant to him. “It’s wonderful, I’m happy. Outside of the court, there’s a special friendship that bridges us. So I’m happy to have been with him on the court, having shared his last two years without forgetting how many special times we spent with Fenerbahce and with the national team. I’m really happy to have met Gigi during my life, during my career. It’s wonderful”, he first said.

Gigi Datome‘s retirement will surely leave a gap in the Italian landscape. “I don’t know what he will leave to Italian basketball, I speak for what he left for me. And that is the love he had and will always have for this Azzurri jersey. This deepness, this visceralness: it’s rare. It’s something he transmitted to me, that I feel as well, and that I’ll try to move on to others from next year”, Nicolò Melli commented on what the 35-year-old will leave to him.

“He ends his career as a protagonist with his club, with his national team. Loved by everybody, as rightful. We had so many moments together, good and bad. Our friendship is something special, something which goes beyond basketball”, he said before pointing out his best quality. “His calmness, his even interior balance which always granted us a great player during the most important games”, he finally stated.


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