Now in his 11th EuroLeague season, former champion Daniel Hackett has been setting an example for his Virtus Segafredo Bologna teammates with his leadership on and off the court and figures have a key role down the stretch as they chase the playoff dream.
As soon as he joined Virtus midway through last season from CSKA Moscow, Hackett’s winning character began to show and by season’s end, he joined an exclusive club of 19 players to have won both the EuroLeague and EuroCup crowns in their career. It’s almost as if Hackett was bred to be a winner.
"Pretty much my whole journey as a kid was around basketball. My father was a basketball coach, so I was always around gyms and basketball players," Hackett says of his youth.
The EuroCup triumph put Hackett and Virtus back in the continental elite this season and it’s been an experience that he has cherished.
"It’s a big opportunity for me to keep improving, to try to take as many trophies as I can, try to win every game, every time I step on the court," Hackett explains. "On top of that, it's a chance that we have to be in the EuroLeague, to bring this club to a whole new level."
Perhaps to best understand the impact Hackett has had on Virtus, it's best to turn to the team's head coach."He brings fire, he brings passion, he brings competitiveness, he brings toughness. He has no fear to take the shots too," Coach Sergio Scariolo says of Hackett. "It’s really good to have him in the team, especially with many young players who are developing their best competitive personality."