Davide Moretti’s parents are Paolo Moretti and Mariolina Tozzi. Moretti’s family, originally from Bologna, hadn’t seen Moretti in a long time when they surprised him to attend his Elite Eight performance at the end of March.
In interviews in the past, Moretti has acknowledged his homesickness after deciding to live and play basketball in the United States, separating from his family. To Lubbock Online, Moretti said, “I’m good now. The struggles have made me stronger, but that was probably the worst thing I went through.”
Here’s what you need to know about Moretti’s parents, Mariolina and Paolo:
1. WATCH: Moretti Is Surprised by Family Coming to U.S. to Watch Elite Eight Game
Above, you can watch the heartwarming moment where Moretti found out that his family had come to watch him play his Elite Eight game in person. After Moretti and his team defeated Michigan, he got an opportunity to tell reporters what an amazing moment it was for him.
“It was amazing,” Moretti said, via USA Today. “I wanted so bad for my family to watch me. My dad had watched me a couple of times last year, but I wanted my little brother and mama to watch me and live the moment together with me.”
Moretti further explained that he had no idea that his parents were coming, though there was a moment when he was a little confused in the days leading up to the game, as he’d read an article saying his father was in the United States. Per USA Today, he said, “My mom had never watched me play here, so it was kind of special for me. I play for my team first of all, and then for my family right after that. It was really a special moment for me.”
Tariq Owens, Moretti’s teammate, added, “It meant a lot to Davide. We all are really close. The fact that his family was here all the way from Italy means a lot. We’ve spent a lot of time together. He is my roommate on the road and he has spent so much time talking to his family. I know how much it means to him.”
2. Paolo Moretti Played Basketball in Italy in the 1990s
Moretti isn’t the only basketball player in his family: his father was a professional basketball player in Italy. The highlight of his career was winning a silver medal at Eurobasket in 1997.
While on the Italian national team, Paolo averaged 8.6 points per game, 0.7 rebounds per game, and 0.7 assists per contest. He appeared in FIBA events in 1993, 1995, and 1997 for the Italian squad.
Moretti’s little brother is also a basketball player, per his Instagram.
3. Paolo Moretti Is a Basketball Coach in Italy; the Moretti Family Is From Bologna
Paolo Moretti is now a basketball coach in Italy. He has served as the coach of Mens Sana 1871 in Italy’s Serie A2 league, among other teams.
Paolo also served as a coach for his son — a role that Moretti missed when he moved to the United States. To Lubbock Online, Moretti said, “My dad’s advice, especially after games, is something I miss.”
Moretti added, “He wasn’t able to watch every single game and he couldn’t really help me during my struggles. My dad’s advice is something that I really missed. Even when I called him, he couldn’t give me real advice because he wasn’t able to watch the game. He wouldn’t know what to say.”
4. Moretti Has Cited His Brother as the Person He Missed the Most When He Moved to the States
In the Instagram post above, Moretti wishes his little brother a happy birthday and tells him how much he misses him. Translated into English, the post reads,
I miss you more than anything, I love you more than anything and I can’t wait to hug you again. Even if there is no way to see you play, know that I am the proudest brother in the world, because I know what the future can bring you. The distance sucks, I just want to hug you and kick your ass 1vs1. Happy birthday to you who are one of the reasons why I never give up ❤️
In an interview with Lubbock Online, Moretti said that his brother, whom he has nicknamed “lil moro,” is one of his greatest sources of homesickness. He said, “[He’s] Probably the person that I’ve missed most during my year here. It was really tough for me because I wasn’t able to watch him play and grow up. We have a really, really strong relationship. I can’t wait to see him again and watch him play and do something special on the court.”
5. Moretti Chose Texas Tech Because of the ‘Style of Play’
Per Lubbock Online, Moretti chose Texas Tech after making an 11-day tour of colleges in the U.S. that included UCONN, Utah, and Indiana, as well. Moretti said, “I really liked the style of play, the pick and rolls. I really liked all of the motion and how I could match my game with it.”