Milan against Olympiacos relies on the jolly Hall: “Here I play in three roles and I enjoy myself”

At 20.30 Olimpia returns to the Forum in front of 7,500 fans after two consecutive knockouts in the cup. The US winger loves fishing: “It relaxes me and develops my concentration”

Milan returns to the Euroleague tonight after two knockouts in a row, bringing 7,500 fans back to the Forum for the high-altitude challenge with Olympiacos (20.30). The goal is to resume the race after overtaking the Barcelona-Real duo at the top of the standings. Coach Messina finds the titular playmaker Delaney, out for a month, and warms up his southpaw Devon Hall, the wild card who covers three roles, director included, a positive surprise at this start of the season. Growing up in Virginia, 26, a bodyguard physique, 196 cm of muscle and energy, Hall has become the prototype of the ideal player for Europe: “Here I can best express my versatility in the game – he says -. I mean everything my dad Mark, my high school coach, taught me. After college with the Virginia Cavaliers, I was chosen by the NBA (Okc on lap 2 playing 11 games in all) but in that world they are not looking for players like me, rather they prefer specialists. So I went to Australia and then to Germany. In Milan I discovered the Euroleague, the most physical championship of the NBA, where you have to be quick on your head to make the right choices. ”

Complete Euroleague players, Nba specialists. Isn’t that a paradox?

“If you are not a superstar in the NBA, you are evaluated for what is your best weapon. It may be enough to make the contract. If, on the other hand, you know how to play many roles like me, or you have the talent to express more fundamentals but none in a dominant way it is more difficult to be appreciated. Perhaps in the NBA draft I was a bit penalized by the fact that Virginia, in that season number 1 of the NCAA ranking, natural candidate for the national title, went out in the second round of the March Madness. An event that was unprecedented in the history of American university basketball. For me it was a disappointment but it is also true that a university player must be judged for his 4 years and not for a game that ended badly “.

Are the Euroleague and Milan your NBA?

“In a sense, yes, because I play in the strongest league in the world outside the NBA. But I don’t compare the two systems because they are very different. In Europe I found my natural dimension as a player also in how I interpret this sport “.

What lessons did your father teach you?

“He taught me everything I can do on the pitch. He wanted me to become a player capable of always staying in control. I then add all my energy ”.

Coach Messina immediately gave her confidence by putting the team in her hand for Delaney’s injury and for the need not to wear Rodriguez. Did he believe it?

“I didn’t expect it but I was hoping for it and I was ready. As a player my qualities are to create in attack for myself and for my teammates and to defend on all rotations of the external opponents. My goal, which is also my motto, is to win one game at a time until the end of the season. “

So he wants to win it all this year?
“One game at a time (he repeats and smiles) then we’ll see”.

Did you have a role model as a boy?

“Deron Williams, the playmaker from Brooklyn (twice Olympic gold medal with Team USA) who retired a few years ago. We have the same characteristics, I see myself in him “.

Tonight Olympiacos have to be beaten after the two knockouts in Russia. How do you see it?

“They are a tough team with longs who know how to play in and out of the box and very efficient players like Sloukas and Wolters. To beat her we have to defend hard, control the rebounds and isolate their longs. It has worked so far with the strongest teams ”.

Off the field they say that you are a passionate fisherman …

“Fishing relaxes me, it is a hobby that develops patience and concentration, they are also useful skills for a basketball player. I would also do some competitions if it were possible. With a friend I met here in Milan I go fishing for sea bass near Pavia. I catch them, take a picture if it’s a good prey, then throw them back into the water alive. In my way I am an animal rights activist “.

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Milan against Olympiacos relies on the jolly Hall: “Here I play in three roles and I enjoy myself”