July 9, 2009
"Pretty Sweet!" is how Santa Clara's rising sophomore Marc Trasolini, playing for Canada, described the U19 World Championships in an email late Wednesday night. Trasolini, who was named to the WCC All-Freshman team in 2009 after setting the Santa Clara school record for field goal percentage, will join Canada in its game vs. USA in the quarterfinals on July 10 in New Zealand.
Trasolini responded, via email, with the inside scoop from the U19 World Championships and a special message for Bronco fans.
SCU: So, you are in New Zealand! Have you ever been there before? How do you like it so far?
MT: No, I never been here before. It's pretty cool though. I like it a lot. The people are really nice and the accents are pretty funny to hear all the time.
SCU: Is it winter there right now?
MT: Yes, it's winter. It's kind of cold sometimes and it's off and on with rain and sun.
SCU: How has the basketball been so far? Incredible?
MT: Yes, the basketball has been really good. It's a really high level of competition and it is a great experience for me to here. Seeing all the players from different countries is pretty cool. I've met so many different people from all over the world.
SCU: You were sick prior to going down there, but seem to be rebounding well. How would you rate your play so far?
MT: Yes, I had mono. It's pretty hard coming back from a month and a half of doing basically nothing because I was ill. At the start of my play down here, especially my stamina, was pretty bad. My confidence was down and just general things like my shot. But they're getting better and even though my game is still not 100%, I'm just happy I was able to play because up until a few days before leaving I didn't even think I was going to be able to go. I am so glad I am having this experience. It will certainly help me in the future.
SCU: What has been your best game so far in New Zealand?
MT: My best game so far was vs. Spain when I scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Everything was clicking and I was pretty happy with how I played.
SCU: Does Canada practice a lot between games or just go through walk-throughs and scouting reports?
MT: We practice, but not too hard. A lot of it is just shooting, walkthroughs and running through our plays.
SCU: Canada advanced to the quarter finals with an upset win over Argentina. You are set to play the USA on July 10. Do you know anything about the USA team?
MT: They are a pretty good team, very talented and favored to win it all. Everyone really contributes for them and they'll be very tough to beat. We will have to play our best and if so, we have a pretty good shot to beat them.
SCU: Last year you were on the Canadian U-18 that won a bronze medal at the FIBA Americas Tournament in Argentina. On that team you were the third leading scorer. Any predictions for Canada this year?
MT: I don't want to jinx it, but I'd be extremely happy if we beat the USA and got top four. Other than that top six would be great. We are working really hard!
SCU: Favorite memory off the court in New Zealand?
MT: I don't think one thing stands out, but we have a lot of fun off the court. The guys are cool to just hang out with away from basketball. We are comfortable with each other because we've known each other for 1-2 years already.
SCU: Anything special that's happened - someone you've met or seen?
MT: We met Zinedine Zidane in the airport, the famous French soccer player. That was very cool because he's pretty much a soccer legend and I'm a huge soccer fan.
(FYI: One of only two three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winners (Ronaldo being the other), Zidane was also named the European Footballer of the Year in 1998. His abilities were further recognized in 2004 when he was included in Pelé's choice list of the world's greatest footballers (soccer).)
MT: Hey - thanks for checking in and see you Broncos back in Santa Clara! It's going to be a GREAT YEAR!