by Gabriel Gallo
Now it will be Dimitris Privetis’ turn to release him, for the benefit of the player and the team, from among the Italian basketball elite. But the first to discover and trust Momo Fay was Andrea Minuzzi, the inspirational and for years responsible for the lush red-and-white nursery.
Minuzzi, is Fei ready for the first division?
“Readiness is a broad concept. In his case, a lot depends on what you want and can expect from him and how effective he is in influencing matches. He has a lot of room for improvement but, at the same time, he still has to learn how to do several things.”
Before considering adding him to the list as the sixth foreign player, has the coaching staff also spoken to you?
“I’ve spoken to both Coldebella and Priftis. Since they were already inclined to give him the role, they asked me for confirmation and insights in great health.”
How did you get to the red and white cantera?
“On the occasion of a trip to Dakar in 2021, to show some profiles reported to me, he was also in gym training. He wasn’t in our notebook but after seeing him in action, it took me two or three days to get to know him better. Upon Returning to Italy with the property, we decided to focus on him.
At the time he was a minor, was it difficult to convince the family to let him come to Italy? “No, it’s a matter of mentality. In Senegal we tend to let our children go, even abroad, if important opportunities are offered to them. And this is regardless of socio-economic conditions. Momo, moreover, from a good social background, has a sister for some time in the states United, so to speak.
What surprised you the most when you saw it?
“His physicality, first of all. And certainly also his mentality. We worked on the technique as soon as he got to Reggio.” What are your best qualities today?
“He has improved in his coordination and movements; this has led to a technical development. By managing his body better, he has advanced in his shooting technique. He is already very good at catching and offensive rebounding. A paradoxical talent” He adapts to the level of the game. If he’s tall he can compete easily, and if he’s short, he tends to settle down, and that can jeopardize the continuity of performance.”
Where can you improve in the short term?
“In keeping in touch whatever the level of opponents are; that’s something he’s aware of and the quality of his first-team list will help him immensely. Even in one-on-one situations he can make progress early on.” On a human level?
“He is a mature boy, with an excellent personality, and very serious in everything he does. So far he is appreciated on the basketball court, but also off the basketball court. In the guest house and at school (he attends the Moti Art Tourism Course, ed.) where the teachers praise him severely.”
Faye is another pearl of the nursery which is considered a pioneer in Italy and in which the company continues to invest.
“Both the previous properties and, even more so, the current one, have never shown doubts about the desire to invest in young people. Reggio Emilia asserts itself as a white fly in the basketball panorama of our country, in an increasingly complex organizational framework. And this makes me happy and motivated. These are really important things.”
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