By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Among the latest imports from Europe, Simone Fontecchio is determined to complete the transition from the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague to the NBA in style.
Fontecchio, 26, was present for the Media Day previewing the new NBA season. He talked about his career stressing his willingness to become an influential part of the Utah Jazz.
“Signing with the Jazz was unbelievable. It felt like a dream come true. I wanted to become an NBA player,” he introduced himself to the gathered reporters, “It has been a long journey. Now I am 26, almost 27. Sometimes, this dream felt a little bit far, but right now I am so happy and excited to be here.”
“I am really thankful and grateful for this big opportunity. I am ready to do whatever I can to help this team,” he added.
Detailing his career in the press conference, the experience of 77 games played in the EuroLeague stands out at the club level. Playing for Italy at the international level includes the 2022 EuroBasket.
“I feel like I am a good shooter. I can shoot the ball and run the floor very well. I am pretty athletic. I can play defense. I feel like my intensity on the court is important. Of course, I have a lot of things to improve,” he replied to a question about his abilities.
Another EuroBasket standout, Lauri Markkanen is also on the list of newcomers for the Jazz. He was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers via trade before Finland launched its campaign among the best European national teams.
“I kind of built my confidence back up. I feel ready to go for the year having that experience this summer,” he mentioned commenting on his solid showing in EuroBasket amounting to 27.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per contest, “I feel confident. I showed the way I can play basketball.”
It certainly was an eventful summer for the Jazz dealing Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in blockbuster trades and maybe more moves are coming up. The apparent rebuild consists of European stars, Fontecchio and Markkanen playing alongside Collin Sexton and Mike Conley, barring another trade changing up the squad.
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