Federico Gallinari is still adjusting to the way basketball is played in the United States, but lucky for him he has a good mentor to help with the process.
Gallinari, a 2017 forward out of Italy, is the younger brother of Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari.
“I always talk to him for advice about staying in the U.S,” the younger Gallinari said. “He’s telling me everything about the Americans and how to approach the game. He’s helping.”
A 2017 prospect, Gallinari spent the summer working out in Denver with his brother trying to learn the nuances and differences in the game in the United States.
“The game is completely different,” Gallinari said. “I came here and everyone can jump and everyone can run.”
“In Italy it’s a little bit slow,” he added. “We think about the game and we make every decision for us and the teammates. So maybe we do one pass and a shot. There are a little bit more tactics than here. So I’ve had to change a little bit of my game.”
Now, Gallinari is in Kansas gearing up for his final high school season at Wichita (Kans.) Sunrise Christian, where he hopes to draw the eye of college basketball coaches.
“I love it,” he said of his time at Sunrise. “We have a great time. We have a lot of practice. We practice about two times a day, two practices and one lifting. It’s a great school and a great opportunity for college next year.”
Sunrise Christian coach Kyle Bankhead said he’s been impressed with Gallinari’s skill set.
“Like a lot of international kids, he has good IQ and skill level,” Bankhead said. “He’s 6-7 or 6-8 and perimeter oriented guy with skill and basketball IQ.”
“I think I’m a good shooter,” Gallinari said when asked to describe his game. “My IQ is good and I have vision and I’m good at passing the ball. I need to improve my ball handling and my jump and my run. In these two months, I really improved my run and I can run faster than before and I’m improving my ball handling.”
Gallinari and his Sunrise team get their season started on October 28th against St. John’s Military Academy.