He’s the first American player of Follo‘s history. He came from Miami and he has already surprised Kangaroos’ supporters. We are talking about Michael Panaggio, Biancoblù’s summery transfer who decided to explain himself during an exclusive interview in Liguria a Spicchi.
Why did you decide to come to Italy? How have you kept in touch with Follo?
I came to Italy because last season I didn’t play and I am in the process of finishing up my dual citizenship to become italian. And I needed to add another season playin to my resume. I couldn’t afford to have sat out two straight seasons. My agent Jorge Nelson Rifatti reached out me and told me about the opportunity. Jorge has been my agent for three years now and took a chance on me out of college and so when the opportunity was presented to me I took it.
You’re surname sounds so Italian…
I am italian on my fathers side. Unfortunately I am not as italian as my name sounds. My mom is German and Irish. But I am italian on my fathers side. His grandparents were born in San Marco Di Cavolti and in Rapolla.
Is it you first time in Italy? What do you think about the country?
This is my second season in Italy. I played in puglia my rookie season for Olimpica Cerignola. I didn’t really enjoy the city of Cerignola how I am enjoying La Spezia. I like the fact the La Spezia has diversity in people and food options. The people are great and it’s a beautiful area. I am enjoying my time in Follo and La Spezia.
Which experience have you gained in your American career?
I have many great experiences playing in America. From high school and college. I have competed against very talented players like Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard in High school, and Jae Crowder at the college level. I have only had one losing season in my career and have helped build my high school and college programs I played for to the next level.
Follo is like a big family. How do you feel with the Kangaroos?
Follo has been great to me. President Attilio and his son Andrea have been great to me and have made me feel welcome. Coach Andrea and coach Bonanni have put a lot of trust and faith into me. We have a young team, where I’m actually the 4th oldest. So this season I have been a mentor to the younger talented guys on our team which has been fun. I have focused on trying to share my knowledge with them and to help improve their game and help make us become a more complete team. Which has been a fun challenge for me every day.
What’s your objective during the season?
My objective this season is very simple. I want to win. I believe we have a team that can not only win Liguria but can move into serie B. On a personal level. I feel like I am one of the best players no one has heard of and that motivates me every day to work on my craft and to make sure I can show every one the talents god has blessed me with and hopefully make a name for my self in Europe.