Men's Basketball
    Hackett Excels While Playing For Italy's National Basketball Team

    June 11, 2007

    USC guard Daniel Hackett excelled while playing in four games for the Italian National Basketball Team from June 2-7 in Italy.

    Hackett averaged nine points in the four wins for the Italian National Team and now will join the Italian Under-20 team and prepare for the European Championships in July.

    "I didn't think he would have been able to do the things needed to play on this level," said Italy coach Carlo Recalcati. The Italian basketball magazine "Superbasket" featured Hackett on the cover and referred to him as the playmaker of the future. Italian writer Gianni Pascucci said this about Hackett, "The true new name of the group has been Daniel Hackett, who showed a great maturity." It was also written if Hackett had not played his way on to the 2008 Olympic team, then he would be a definite selection for the next Olympics.

    "I am learning the European style of basketball and how to lead a team," said Hackett. "It has been a nice experience. I'm looking forward to playing in the European Championships in July."

    In Hackett's first game, Italy defeated Croatia 80-73 with the soon-to-be USC sophomore scoring 10 points. The Italian team then won the Adriatic International Tournament of Porto San Giorgio, defeating Slovakia (74-68), The Czech Republic (88-71) and Croatia again (88-78). Hackett scored 14 points against Slovakia, two in seven minutes against The Czech Republic and then 10 more against Croatia to secure the tournament victory.

    Hackett averaged 5.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 37 games, including 16 starts, as a freshman this past season for USC. He was second for the Trojans in assists with 103 and second in free throw shooting with a .792 percentage.

    The 6-5 guard had one of his best games for the Trojans during its second-round, 87-68, victory over Kevin Durant and Texas in the NCAA Tournament, scoring 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting.