There is a student of Pallacanestro Biella who knocks even harder on the doors of the NBA: Sandro Mamukelashvili has already known the golden world of professionals last season, after being chosen on the second round by the Milwaukee Bucks of Giannis Antetokoumpo outgoing champions. But his contract, for the first season, was a “two way” that limits the number of games to be played in the first team, forcing him to alternate with the affiliated team of the D-League, the development league. He has played 41, exactly 50 percent of those of the regular season, but with one minute (less than 10 per game) and with reduced responsibilities, as often happens to a rookie. The Georgian who studied at Iti and made the fortunes of Federico Danna’s Under did not give up and played his cards best at the Summer League, the summer championship where assistant coaches and observers evaluate the players who had less space and those who they could have, like the blue born in 2003 Matteo Spagnolo, the Virtus play point Alessandr Pajola and the first choice Paolo Banchero. The result? Mamukelashvili was included in the ideal quintet of the match session, with pretty good figures: 17 points, 8.8 rebounds, almost 3 assists on average.
For him it is not just a personal satisfaction, for the Bucks coaching staff it is the confirmation of having seen well when they caught him last year from the University of Seton Hall. But for observers of the NBA ring-winning team in 2021 it could be the prelude to something more solid in its near future: the transformation of the contract from the current hybrid form to that as a full member of the Milwaukee franchise in a role, that center, where Antetokoumpo has teammates with physical problems (Brook Lopez) and at an age no longer very young with Serge Ibaka’s 32 years. In the meantime, it’s up to him to be ready when he is called into question again, in the second year of the biennial he signed last season. For the many friends he left in Biella, every step ahead of him is a reason for pride.