Recently during on Basket Room, a SKY’s TV broadcast dealing with basketball, Pio Macchiavello was interviewed about the signing of non-European players. Tigullio’s president, during the speech told also about the sentence of the Sport Court about the game between them and Follo, which brought the Biancoblù American player Michael Panaggio to move from Liguria. He decided to explain Liguria a Spicchi all the situation during an exclusive interview.
How is you career going now? Where are you playing?
My career is still rolling. I just signed a deal with a pro team in Gulbenes, Latvia. And have my debut this Saturday.
What do you think about the situation where you were involved in Liguria? What did you know about the problem?
The situation was a tough one to handle. I enjoyed the region and my teammates. I signed to Follo like September 2nd and they rushed me out there September 8th. I was their first American import ever and I don’t think they really had any clue on what the procedures were to get me cleared by the federation. All I knew of the situation was they needed my college degree. And I got them that when we were under investigation. My agent at the time told me when I played in Puglia once I get my student visa from the American embassy in Miami I will be free to play in Italy for as long as I want with no trouble. And I just put a lot of faith and loyalty into him.
The situation was explained during the TV broadcast Basket Room. How did you feel and what do you want to say to Liguria’s basketball world?
I was a little worried because of the language barrier. And I was aware of the documents being shared. But I do believe that this situation needs to be addressed. Obviously Americans are very dominant in basketball. That is our turf. So when any American can get an opportunity to come to Italy and play basketball we will jump regardless of what the process is. So I think the system is flawed. Why can American help you move up to B but then can’t play with you the next season. It’s definitely got to change and for the past two or three seasons B has been portrayed like they will allow American imports but it hasn’t became a reality yet. To the people of Liguria I’m sorry the last thing I wanted to do was to offend anyone. I came to bring excitement and to help grow the game in the region. I was involved with all age groups in Follo. And took a special interest in a lot of the young talented Italians trying to pave a career for themselves in this business.
What do you expect for you future European career?
I have big dreams. I’m still young. Just turned 26 so I’m just entering into my prime. So I believe anything is possible. Where I don’t know what to expect. But I do know I want to play for the next 6-8 years and see how far I can take my game.