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.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.

George Washington lands 5-foot-3 point guard

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George Washington landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard, from Georgia on Tuesday night.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported the commitment.

Rogers is the son of Shawnta Rogers, the 5-foot-4 point guard who played for the Colonials from 1995-99, earning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors as a senior.

“My dad is an alum, and I have a family relationship with the coaching staff,” Darnell Rogers told ESPN. “Their starting point guard is leaving when I come in. It’s a great situation for me and I also love D.C.”

In July, during the Nike Peach Jam, you may have seen clips or photos of the diminutive floor general playing for CP3, alongside arguably the nation’s top recruit, Harry Giles. In 22 appearances with CP3 in the Nike EYBL, Rogers averaged 10.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.

By the time Rogers reaches campus, Joe McDonald and Alex Mitola will have both exhausted their eligibility, while Paul Jorgensen and Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will both be juniors.

He joins power forward Collin Smith in GW’s Class of 2016. The two commits are separated by 18 inches.