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Eurohopes Basketball Prospects | OLIVA GROWING IN NEW JERSEY
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Oliva, growing in New Jersey
By Luca Virgilio
Pierfrancesco Oliva (SG, 6’7’’, 1996) from Virtus Siena is probably one of the European prospects of his generation with the more interesting overseas upside. After a great U16 European Championship in 2012 in Lithuania/Latvia, where Oliva averaged 13.6 points, 9 rebounds and 2.8 assists, and some good performances in the last U18 European Championship in Latvia, where he ended with 4.6 points and 2 rebounds per game, the young talent from Italy shined once again in Rome last December during the Nike International Junior Tournament: 14 points per game. with 11 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Now for Oliva a new adventure is coming and it is time to move to New Jersey to join the Bergen Catholic High School for the next six months. 

-When and why you decided to take this adventure in High School?
"I decided to come here in November. It was a dream since I was a baby so i didn’t want to let this opportunity slip. I had a lot of offers by different High Schools, some of that very famous, like Findlay Prep or Brewster Academy, but here in Bergen the team is very good, the coach is young and very good and the all city is nice".

-After some days in the States, which are the main differences in the basketball approach between US and Europe?
"I think that here there is more work on the fundamentals, they try to focus on some things day by day and not to do a lot of things together. And here they teach you how to be professional, if you don’t want to do push ups, you gotta put your shirt in your shorts and tie your shoes before going on the court".

-Describe your typical day at the Bergen Catholic High School.
"My typical day here is: shooting machine for half an hour before going to school. From 7.55am school until 2pm, lunch at school, practice from 2.15pm until 4.30pm, snack at home, shower and dinner"

-Describe yourself as a player.
"I like to score, but I love passing the ball. I just want the people screaming for my plays. I think that these are most important things in the game: be a team, win and make people have fun".

-What is your greatest ambition as a basketball player ? As a person?
"My greatest ambition as a player is the same of as a person: do everything to became the best player that I can be. I don’t know how good, but since I’m here, I want to get better and improve my skills than when I was in Italy. The only thing that I want to do outside the court is finish the college/university because I want to be educated in the right way"

-Would you like to play in the NCAA?
"Sure that I want to play in the NCAA, here I’m still a junior so I have another year to decide what to do".

-Which European player inspires you? Why? 
"I really like Diamantidis, because I think that he’s a scientist of this game, he’s so smart and he’s not fast, but he can play point guard also if he’s tall and that is one of the aspects of the game that I’ m trying to improve".

-Which international player inspires you? Why?
"I’m inspired by Kevin Durant because he makes everything look easy and because he gets better year after year by hard workouts. I think he’s an example for me and not just my favorite player".

Photo: Euroleague
Twitter of the author: @LucaVirgilio


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