Photo: NBA

For the first time in six years, Adidas Basketball will once again host The Adidas Next Gen Eurocamp. It is the only officially sanctioned NBA pre-draft camp outside of the United States. the Camp will take place in Treviso, Italy (where it all started) form June 9th till June 15th.

We used the given opportunity to discuss discuss more about this topic with Gianluca Pascucci, the Director of Scouting for Adidas Eurocamp.

“Let me first share the excitement that we felt from the basketball world when the first rumors of the Eurocamp coming back circulated. I think the International and NBA communities really missed the events in the last few years. Adidas Eurocamp is and NBA sanctioned event which means that NBA Scouts and Executives can attend the camp to evaluate prospects of different ages and countries for the current and future Drafts. This year it was introduced a new format as the Adidas Eurocamp is the tournament that will crown a champion at the end of the three days event”, said Gianluca.

With the debut of its inaugural Girls Camp, this year’s Eurocamp will be the first time that female athletes will be featured in the multi-day scouting program, marking adidas’ commitment to inclusivity in sport. This will be a huge step up in women’s sports, especially because over the recent years female basketball has started to get more space in the media and more public interest.

Do you expect for this to be also a successful project as it was Adidas Next Gen Camp for boys?

“Yes! Together with the excitement for boys camp coming back, there is a great vibe as well about the new girls camp. I think since the last time the Camp took place, women’s basketball in the US and around the World took a giant step forward which is great for the basketball community. WNBA is getting more and more important and like in the NBA we see an influx of international stars there as well. Despite this being only the first year I really believe that the girls camp will be such a success that will grow over the years as it was the case for the boys camp.”

This is the 17th edition of the Camp and in the past 16 editions, this camp produced more than 150 NBA and EuroLeague players. Are you expecting more talented players to be spotted as well in this edition? And what do you think about European players in the NBA? They are now at the same level as the drafted players from the USA. Will we see in the future more players from Europe in the NBA and do you disagree or agree with European coaches who are telling us that all the European countries nowadays have issues finding new talented players? 

“I think the beauty of this camp, over the years, is that you had already established high level players who confirmed their talent and game during the 3 days, but also under the radar players who took fully advantage of the opportunity of the camp to raise up the boards and build themselves an NBA resume on the way to a good career. I expect it will be the same in this year camp. International players in the NBA are a great story for the basketball worlds and I am not only talking about the usual elite names but also I am referring to the over 100 players from outside US that are playing consistently in the NBA in the last few years. The numbers will stay high and probably grow even more in the coming future. Obviously over the years there has been a big number of players migrating from Europe to the NBA but I am confident that there will always be good European players because the average quality of the European coaches is extremely high and they will be able to develop more and more players”, briefly explained Gianluca who is obviously excited that Camp returned after six years.

As a basketball lover, and someone who loves basketball can you share your feelings when you see the athlete you discovered becoming a superstar? Also, why basketball, why that much love for this sport?

“Well, first of all it’s never a I but it’s a we as this is a team sport not only on the court but also off the court and when you are talking about Executives, Front Office or Scouts. It is certainly rewarding when you see someone who you(as a team) targeted in the Draft for example and that player develops over the year as a key piece for your team. You can almost say that it’s the ultimate “perfect product” of different areas of the same organization working together toward the same goal. Why basketball? It’s a such a dynamic and exciting sport, the up and down, the rhythm of the games, the buzzer beaters all of these means emotions!”

(Special thanks to Misi and Gianluca and all the people from Pithblend who helped us with this interview)