Thanks to the presence of Tommy Lloyd and the great success of prior recruits, top International talent has been drawn to Gonzaga over the past decade. With guys like Przemek Karnowski, Kevin Pangos, Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk and Domas Sabonis helping elevate the Gonzaga program to great heights, Spokane has become a destination for the best from overseas.
Not surprisingly, the Gonzaga staff is looking to continue that success and has been recruiting Italian PG, Federico Mussini, for a long time. Mussini just finished up playing for the World Team at the Nike Hoop Summit, which was an experience that really opened his eyes.
"It was amazing," Mussini said of his time in Oregon. "The best experience I've ever had. It was unbelievable to think that players like KD, John Wall, Kyrie Irving and a lot of other players played in the same game. I think I could have played better but I am satisfied about my game."
Naturally, playing against the elite talent from around the world was a little different than playing with Reggio Emilia in the Italian League.
"Here (the states) you have the biggest visibility that you can have and there are incredible athletes," Mussini explained of the biggest differences. "In there Italy, there are more experience players."
While Mussini showed he had the skill to play against the top talent in the world, he did acknowledge that working on his strength will be key to his growth.
"I need to work on my body," said the Italian guard. "Because on both offense and on defense, I am in a little bit of trouble because I'm too skinny."
With college basketball a potential destination, Mussini has been paying attention to the top teams and trying to get a better understanding of how his game could develop.
"Yes, I can follow all of the teams from Italy! I like a lot of teams right now. I think that there is more of a possibility of improving because of the way they practice (in the states)."
The way that Gonzaga plays and shares the ball is what has really caught the attention of the scoring guard.
"They have a really good way to play and they like to share the ball," Mussini said of what he likes most about Gonzaga specifically. "They have a lot of International players to, and I like that."
On his way back to Italy from Portland, the Italian guard was able to make his first college visit. With his busy schedule, it may be awhile before he makes the next.
"I would like to visit a lot of colleges," he explained. "I'm unlucky though because I have a very busy schedule from now until the summer, so I don't when I will visit."
When it comes to making a decision between staying in Europe, or coming to the states, he admits that it's one that he would like to make soon.
"I want to make the decision as soon as possible," Mussini revealed. "But I don't have a date."