Virtus Segafredo Bologna's 21-year-old guard Nico Mannion went through all the steps expected of an American basketball prodigy. He was on magazine covers in high school, was a five-star college recruit and - after just one season in college with the Arizona Wildcats - was drafted in the NBA and made his debut in that league with the Golden State Warriors while still a teenager.
While following that basketball path, Mannion also embraced his family's Italian roots. Nico was born in Siena, Italy, to two professional athletes. His mother Gaia is a former volleyball player, who was born and raised in Rome, and his father Pace is a former basketball player, who played six seasons in the NBA and more than a decade in Italy.
"Actually, when I was born, my dad was an Italian citizen, so technically I was born to two Italian parents," Nico explained. "He was already here for 13 years, he speaks fluent now, and he has embraced the culture just as much as I did growing up."