The emergence of Donte DiVincenzo happened out of nowhere. Last spring, the Villanova Wildcats were crowned National Champions with a win over the Michigan Wolverines. While the Wildcats took care of the Wolverines with ease, there was a clear-cut standout, who was a potential sixth-man superstar in the making for the NBA.
Donte DiVincenzo was named the National Championship MVP after notching his career-high of 31 points. He just so happened to put up the most points ever in National Championship history for a player that’s coming off the bench. Since that particular night, DiVincenzo had more eyes on him than he could ever imagine.
Fast-forward a few months, and DiVincenzo becomes the second Villanova player to be drafted to an NBA team. With the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, DiVincenzo was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks. And on Wednesday night, he could make his NBA Debut with the Bucks as they kickstart their preseason against the Chicago Bulls.
Here are five fast facts you need to know about the Nova Star.
His Nickname Is ‘The Big Ragu’
Somehow, DiVincenzo has been gifted the nickname ‘The Big Ragu.’ Even Donte himself doesn’t understand where the nickname came from. Fox Broadcaster, Gus Johnson gave DiVincenzo the nickname after he tipped in the game-winning basket during a regular season game against the No. 12 ranked Virginia.
Although DiVincenzo wasn’t aware of the nickname until after everybody started saying it, he did assume that he knew what it meant. “I’m assuming because I’m an Italian with red hair,” said DiVincenzo during an interview with TribLive.com. Fox Broadcaster Gus Johnson never confirmed his meaning behind the nickname, but DiVincenzo’s guess is just as good as anybody else’s.
He Is No Longer on Twitter
After DiVincenzo’s claim to fame after the biggest night of his career, everybody flocked over to his Twitter account to follow him. Before he decided to delete his account, DiVincenzo was blowing up on social media. At first, it was because of his monster game in the National Championship. But after a random Twitter user starting digging, they found some old tweets that were sure to cause a bit of a controversy.
Like many teenagers nowadays, DiVincenzo was in tune with pop culture. He listened to Hip-Hop and Rap and decided to quote some of his favorite lines on Twitter occasionally. Obviously not thinking anything of it, a 14-year-old DiVincenzo tweeted freely and didn’t watch his words. So, a few old tweets were exposed on his big night, which forced him to get rid of Twitter entirely.
He Quit Soccer to Pursue Basketball
Basketball wasn’t everything until it was the only thing for DiVincenzo. Before he was strictly shooting hoops, DiVincenzo was a bit of a soccer star. At one point, his father, John wanted him to focus solely on soccer as he showed a ton of potential when he was younger. But Soccer was not in the cards for DiVincenzo. Growing up, he had to make a decision and decided that he wanted to play basketball in college as he was a big fan growing up.
During the purge of DiVincenzo’s Twitter account, one of his old tweets that came up described a frustrated 14-year-old DiVincenzo, who was upset that his father did not agree with his passion for pursuing basketball at first. By now, we’re sure that Mr. DiVincenzo has changed his mind as his son has eventually made it to the NBA.
His Girlfriend Is a Cheerleader for Temple University
Donte DiVincenzo has been with his girlfriend for a while now. While DiVincenzo attended Villanova University, his girlfriend, Morgan attended Temple University. She is a cheerleader for the Owls, but that apparently didn’t have an effect on anything with their relationship. Just this past summer, Morgan was right by his side as he had his named called up to be drafted. She remains in Philadelphia, while DiVincenzo is out in Milwaukee getting set for his rookie season with the Bucks.
He Was Known as Delaware’s ‘Michael Jordan’
DiVincenzo was the center of attention at Salesianum High School in Wilmington, Delaware a few years back. His High School gymnasium would literally sell out, as everybody was coming to see DiVincenzo and company soar to multiple state championships throughout his tenure. Everybody knew that Donte was good. So good, that they nicknamed him Delaware’s Michael Jordan.
Although he was coming off the bench at Nova, he was a big-time star in Delaware. DiVincenzo was putting on a show with his crazy athleticism and ability to dunk so early on in his young career. Although he’s going to have more a limited role in the pro’s, he was no benchwarmer in High School. A four-star recruit, two-time national champion, and MVP were enough for DiVincenzo to live up to the Delaware hype from years ago.