[EXCLUSIVE] D’Angelo Harrison: “Basketball saved my life. Brindisi has no limits this year”

Exclusive interview with D’Angelo Harrison, one of the best player of the season in Italy with Happy Casa Brindisi.

di Matteo Andreani, @matty_vanpersie

D’Angelo Harrison and Happy Casa Brindisi, one of the main surprises of the season in LBA Serie A. The american point-guard talks about his personal life, the tattoos… and of course Basketball.

Alaska, Missouri City, Houston and St. John’s. An important youth, with a lot of experiences. How was your youth with Sports?

“I lived in Alaska until I was three so I don’t have a lot of memories. I’ve been back years later and I saw my house when I was a child that bringing to my mind some flashbacks of the past. I started playing basketball when I was older but I like to think that I moved my first steps there. Unforgettable years at Red Storm where being one of the best scorers is a great honor.”

Talking about personal life. You have a great relationship with your brother also because of family events…

“Absolutely yes. It’s everything for me and what I do is for him. He was in prison for 10 years and now he is finally free. I wear the number 7 because he told me to do it, it’s my lucky number and I’m not going to change it.”

Steve Lavin, a key person for you.

“At the beginning, I just thinking about scoring as many points as possible in every single game. It was my first thought. I realized over the years, maturing as a person and as a player, that is not necessary to be the top scorer, but to do whatever it takes to win for the team: assists, rebounds, steals, defense, experience and maturity.”

You have a degree in communication. How important is life outside basketball? 

“Surely if I hadn’t been a professional player, I would have liked it specialize as a sports analyst. I still study my opponents days before the game, points of strengths and weaknesses to get prepared for the game from every point of view. Honestly, I have no idea without basketball what my life would be and what it would have been.. it saved my life.”

Then Europe. Turkey, Russia, France and Israel. From Usak Sportif in 2015 to Maccabi Rishion LeZion last summer, what player is D’Angelo Harrison today?

“Basketball is always basketball wherever you play. Whether it is Israel or Italy is a lot challenging to play against great opponents. This is why we train every day, to compete at the highest level and that’s what I aim for.”

Last July, The Final against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, where you scored 38 points. It was a
crazy performance. Do you believe that this match allowed you to be “discovered” in Europe?

“I don’t know, but definitely not having won the title is something I take inside me. I would have preferred
score fewer points but raise the trophy with my teammates.”

Then D’Angelo Harrison signed for Brindisi. Did you received many offers, not only from Europe?

“It was the right opportunity at the right time after Israel. I spoke with management and coaching staff and I made the best decision for myself and my career to play in a competitive team that also participates in a FIBA Competition.”

Brindisi dreams, thanks to the performances of D’Angelo Harrison. What can this team reach? Could it be the big surprise in a championship of powerhouses like Olimpia Milano and Virtus Bologna?

“We have no limits. We know that if we continue to play together, as we are doing, we can go beyond any obstacle. Let’s continue to play with confidence.”

How is your relationship with Frank Vitucci and your teammates? You have a particular feeling with anyone?

“An honest and direct relationship, as it should be between coach and player. Everything is very good with staff. Krubally was already my teammate at Le Portel in France, so we have known each other and we have more feeling. I think you can see it on the court and in our celebrations. The fact that he signed earlier, motivated me even more to accept Brindisi’s offer. An exceptional group of good guys and basketball players.”

What about the city of Brindisi and the fans? What do you think about it?

“I really like the city. Brindisi loves basketball. For us it is really strange to play without fans. I know
how loud the audience in Brindisi is, I have seen photos, videos and heard stories of the people here and by some former players. I can’t wait to share these emotions with them.”

A lot of tattoos. Does anyone have a particular meaning for you?

“I’m the most tattooed basketball player ever. I think this is enough to say. Everyone has a particular meaning for me.”

Versione Italiana.

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