(Erice, Italy, 2003) is 17 years old and has lost the count of how many countries he had been to. He played all over Europe with Stella Azzurra
, he participated in the 2018 U15 South American Championship and the 2019 U16 Americas Championship with Brazil
and since the beginning of the season, he is playing in Australia
. Motta became the first European player to join the NBA Global Academy
What did get you to take the decision to move to the NBA Global Academy?
It is a great program with really good coaches and a very good team. I also got really impressed by the facilities; they have five courts and amazing recovering centers. Our team is very competitive; you are in a really big competition in every practice. So, having the possibility to enjoy this environment, with the coaches we have, is what really made me take this decision.
What did you find there? Are there any big differences from the way Europe works with their prospects?
They are really well-organized, they have plans in practice and pre-practice for everyone individually and for the team. They really care about the player’s personal development. That is one of the goals. It is like a professional environment with a great atmosphere and tough competition.
How do you see yourself as a player since you got in the NBA Global Academy?
I need to improve my body but since I got here I can see my improvements on it, getting stronger and quicker. Also, my shooting abilities are now better. I have in-game IQ but I know that I need to improve a lot in this and other areas.
As we could see in l’Hospitalet, you are part of a very talented team but, at the same time, very physical comparing to European squads. How do you evaluate yourself fitting in a team like this?
In l’Hospitalet, it was kind of hard to fit for me because it was one of my first tournaments with the team. The transition was not easy but I tried to help the team win the tournament. As a team, we did a great preparation and we did a great job eventually.
NBA Global Academy is usually the step prior to enrolling in NCAA. Do you see yourself there in the future? What do you find attractive about college basketball?
I have to decide yet. I have both possibilities in mind, playing for NCAA or becoming pro in Europe. NCAA gives the opportunity to continue my studies and also it is interesting to play in the American style, very quick and physical. But it is early, so I did not take any decision.
Your mother [Barbara Gomes] has background as a pro and as a college volleyball player, your father [Paulo Motta], now part of the Milwaukee Bucks as a scout, had also a solid career in college, in Brazil and Italy. In which way do they influence you?
They are my best advisors alongside with my coaches. I listen them the most. It is great for me to have this environment. My mother was very successful as a player and my father is a really intelligent man, I listen him a lot and I really trust them. I would not take any decision without his consent.
What does it mean for you to represent your parents’ country?
Actually, I chose Brazil [over Italy] because all my family is from there so it really feels very good playing for my country. It is something not easy to explain, a great feeling, defending Brazil, and trying to make them win. An honour.
You are 17 years old but you have played in championships of three different continents. What did these experiences give you?
I think it is important to have these kind of experiences at my age and it will help me a lot for my future career. It is one of the best things that anyone can live. When I was playing for Stella Azzurra I travelled all over Europe playing against different styles of basketball. Then, when going with Brazil National Team, I had the chance to play against South America, Central America and Canada National Teams. And now, Australian teams are really tough to play against. So it is not easy but it has been an amazing experience for me so far.
Photo by nicolesweetsports