Forever faithful Devecchi: ''I hope to stay in Dinamo for all my life''
WURZBURG (Germany) - When you talk about being the face of a franchise, almost nothing in Europe rings more true than Giacomo Devecchi and Dinamo Sassari. Having been loyal to the club since 2006, it's only fitting that it was Captain Jack who delivered the club's maiden international trophy to Sardinia.
A member of Sassari's historic Triple Crown triumph a few years ago in Italy, Devecchi deepened his imprint in the club's history books by helping the Giganti capture the FIBA Europe Cup title in Wurzburg.
Having showered the newly acquired trophy in a sea of confetti at the s.Oliver Arena, Devecchi was also the one to walk it down the airplane steps after landing back in the island.
FIBA.basketball spoke with the Dinamo captain about making history in Europe, the devotion of Sardinian fans and his own dedication to the Sassari club.
When you hear 'first-ever European title in the club's history', what sort of emotions does that bring?
It's something we were trying to reach, we've been playing in Europe for seven years. We've been trying to reach this important trophy and we did it this season. It wasn't easy, because the season didn't start so well. We had some problems and changed the coach in February. After that, we started to play good basketball and trust one another. We started to play like a team. I think that was the difference and helped us win this important trophy.
The second leg in Wurzburg was another case of Dinamo breaking the game in their favor in the second half. What's the key to that?
It wasn't easy for us. This arena was really loud. When you play on the road in Europe, basketball is more physical than in the Italian championship. In the end, we stayed in the game, we improved our defense in the second half and that's the secret. Defense made the difference and we found good offense as a result.
You seemed to have a really physical identity as a team with all that frontcourt firepower in Jack Cooley, Rashawn Thomas, Achille Polonara, Dyshawn Pierre. Was that part of the team's DNA?
For sure, we play physical. We have some big fellas under the basket, and they help us for sure. But we have a good offense from our backcourt too. We have a couple of guards playing at this level in Europe for the first time, but they showed they can do it, they can play at this level. So both are really important for us.
The atmosphere in the first game in Sassari was amazing and now you had over 200 fans who traveled to Germany to watch you play. How important was their presence to you?
Our fans are amazing, we always have fans all over Europe and I will always remember when we played in Siberia, Russia - really far away - and our fans were also there. We know that behind us there is an island full of fans, pushing us. We are really proud to represent this island. For us, they are really important. They gave us energy and won this Final with us.
You've really become a symbol of Dinamo over these 13 years…
It's something crazy, because it doesn't happen really often in recent years. I'm really proud of that and I always thank the club for giving me this opportunity. I try to let the players who arrive in Sassari understand that this is a particular club, a particular island and it's not easy. That's also part of my job - not only on the court, but also in the locker room. To organize everything with the new players, make them practice well and obviously play their games well on Sundays and, in the case of FIBA Europe Cup, on Wednesdays.
You're still under contract with Sassari for five years. What does the future hold for you?
Yes, I have a five-year deal. This is something, this in particular, that I'm really thankful to the club for, because it's something I didn't expect, but I'm really proud of that. We'll see. I like playing basketball and I'd love to play basketball until I enjoy it. I think I will play… At the end, I hope to stay in the Dinamo club for all my life, because I love this team and these colors, this club, this island.