Gianolla Makes U-20 Italian National Team; FIBA U-20 Euro 2017 Starts Saturday

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PESARO, Italy – Kennesaw State rising sophomore Carlotta Gianolla had one goal this summer – make the Under 20 Italian National Team.
Following a three-week tryout that concluded on July 3, Gianolla's hopes became reality when she was one of 16 individuals selected to the team that will represent Italy in the European Championship that begins Saturday (July 8) in Matosinhos, Portugal.
When the 16-team tournament opens on Saturday Gianolla will have one important fan cheering her on from the stands. After receiving a call from Gianolla that she had made the team, Kennesaw State head coach Agnus Berenato booked a flight and will be in attendance for Italy's opener versus host Portugal.
"Carlotta worked extremely hard to improve her skills on and off the court, she has matured and it is evident in her attitude," Berenato said. "I am so proud of Carlotta because she went into these trials with a fierce sense of competitiveness and was not going to be denied."
It was that was the same competitiveness and determination that helped Gianolla earn unanimous ASUN Conference Freshman of the Year accolades this past season after averaging 11.7 points and a team-leading 6.3 rebounds a contest while helping the Owls advance to the semifinals of the ASUN Conference Championship.
"This is a huge accomplishment not only for Carlotta, but for the entire KSU women's basketball community, and I am thankful to our coaches and team who worked hard with Carlotta to refine and polish her game," Berenato said. "We wish Carlotta much luck in the European Championship, and know she will represent KSU well. This international experience will be invaluable and I expect to see a different player when Carlotta returns to campus." 
Prior to attending the tryout, Gianolla said she was confident and ready for the opportunity.
"I feel really prepared and ready to compete for a spot to represent my country on the national team. This last year at Kennesaw State really helped me in my development as I work towards becoming the player I need to be," Gianolla said. "In the United States, basketball is played in a much different way than in Italy and Europe. There is more intensity, athleticism, energy and physicality, and to be able to play on the National Team you need to bring these four factors every single day in practice and games."

Four four-team groups comprise the European Championship format with Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Portugal in Group B. After playing Portugal on Saturday, Italy will face Latvia on Sunday and Lithuania Monday. Following group play, teams will move into the round of 16 where inter-group action will begin. The championship game is set for July 16.
The entire tournament will be broadcast live on the Internet via YouTube and a complete schedule is available here.


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