FIBA Europe

Ohio State guard Amedeo Della Valle helps lead Italy to U-20 European title

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Some of the best players in college basketball had the opportunity to represent their countries in international duty this summer, with events such as the Under-19 World Championships and World University Games allowing those players to get in some quality playing time against solid competition.

Another competition of note was the Under-20 European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, which came to a conclusion on Sunday. In the gold medal game Italy defeated Latvia 67-60, and it was an Ohio State Buckeye who led the charge.

Rising sophomore shooting guard Amedeo Della Valle didn’t see much playing time as a freshman last season, playing in 15 of the Buckeyes’ 37 games and posting averages of 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest.

His opportunity to represent his country allowed Della Valle to improve his game against some of Europe’s best young talent, and Sunday’s finale was simply the most recent step in a very productive tournament.

At one point in the fourth quarter Della Valle scored 13 consecutive points, making all three of his three-point attempts, after struggling with his shot for much of the afternoon. Della Valle finished the game with 19 points (17 in the fourth), and for his efforts throughout the event (13.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg) he was named tournament MVP.

So what does this mean for Della Valle in regards to his role with Ohio State this coming season?

That remains to be seen, as head coach Thad Matta returns every key perimeter contributor from last season’s Elite 8 squad (unless you count DeShaun Thomas as a perimeter contributor). There’s also the matter of incoming freshman Kameron Williams adding even more competition to the shooting guard position, with returning starter Lenzelle Smith Jr. leading the way.

But even with those questions, it’s safe to say that Della Valle’s summer playing for Italy won’t hurt as he looks to crack the Ohio State rotation in 2013-14.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.