by Gianluca Basile.

Dear Davide, you chose to go to Texas and play in the NCAA, so I want to tell you about how it went to me, when I chose to leave Italy to get to Spain.

Choosing to leave Fortitudo Bologna for Barcelona was not easy at all. After the 2005 Italy title, Zoran Savic asked me to follow him to Barça. The decision was tough, because at that moment I was at the peak of my career, Captain and symbol of Fortitudo. And then the proverb says: never leave the old road for a new one, even if the desire to raise the bar was so big.

I knew perfectly what I was going through and the difficulties I would have had to insert myself in a totally different context, but as I have a hard head, I really wanted to try. Since I started from Ruvo di Puglia, I have always set goals. In small steps, I wanted to get to the top and the Barça saw it as the last step. Today I can say that it was worth it.

Before making the final decision I heard all the opinions of my family, to understand their thinking. Finally I spoke not my wife, to understand if it was appropriate to do this insanity, since we had bought a house in Bologna and she was 4 months pregnant and with 2 girls of 6 and 2 years. So I can say that it was the most difficult decision of my life.

Chapter language. English I chewed him little or nothing, but Spanish is very similar to Italian and so I have not had any particular difficulties. Then the fact that Marconato came with me helped me and I found Fucka at the Barça…so, in a month I understood everything and I managed to make myself understood.

As for the language, well it went also with regard to life. The pace was like the one I had in Puglia: the Catalans take it very calmly, a bit like us in Southern Italy.

I was also good for the food, since in Barcelona there was everything, even if we have only frequented Italian restaurants.

The hardest thing was to adapt myself to the coach, to get used to the method and the superhuman loads of work he had. But when I signed up I knew perfectly what I was going to meet. It’s just a matter of mentality: work always pays.

In fact, I took away so many satisfactions: I won practically everything that could be won, even if the greatest satisfaction has been able to stay in that club for 6 years. It is not easy to stay in those teams for a long time, then I was not so young (I stayed there from 30 to 36 years), but I had created a good relationship with the whole environment. When they told me that I was no longer part of their project, I cried.

If I think back, only the first 3 months have been difficult. I had even told Savic that I wanted to go back to Italy. Fortunately, he did not listen to me!

Ultimately, I would say that it was a wonderful choice for me and my whole family, as well as a very important stage of my life.

I wish everyone to have an experience like mine, which marks you positive for life.

So, dear Davide, I can only send you my sincerest “good luck”, wishing you the best.

Gianluca Basile

Euroleague winner with Barcelona (2009/2010).
2 times winner of the Italian Championship with Fortitudo Bologna (1999/2000, 2004/2005).
2 times winner of the Spanish Championship with Barcelona (2008/2009, 2010/2011).
3 times Copa del Rey winner with Barcelona (2006/2007, 2009/2010, 2010/2011).
2 times winner of the Spanish Super Cup with Barcelona (2009, 2010).

MVP of the Italian Championship 2003/2004.
MVP of the 2004/2005 Scudetto Finals.

Gold Medal at the 1999 European Championship of France.
Silver Medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Silver Medal at the Mediterranean Games of 1997.
Bronze Medal at the 2003 European Championship of Sweden.