Texas Tech sophomore Davide Moretti had a night to remember in Texas Tech’s 63-44 win over Michigan in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament last Thursday at the Honda Center.
Moretti finished the night with 15 points and made the team’s first five shots — with his family in the stands.
His mother, father and brother surprised Moretti at the team hotel on Wednesday.
During a film session the night before the matchup, Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard gave an emotional speech to his team about playing the big game for something and someone. He then summoned the Bologna, Italy, native Moretti to speak in front of the team and tell his teammates who he is playing for.
What Moretti didn’t realize was that his family was about to sneak into the room after traveling from Italy to Anaheim, California, to watch him play.
He said, “I’m playing for everybody in this room and my family… oh my God.” That’s when Moretti saw his family members and was instantly overcome with emotion. He began hugging his brother and mother as his teammates applauded.
“It was amazing,” Moretti said after the Red Raiders 63-44 win over Michigan. “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.”
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Moretti said he didn’t realize his family was in Anaheim but thought something was amiss after he read an article that said his father, Paolo Moretti, who coaches basketball in Italy, was in the United States.
“My mom had never watched me play here, so it was kind of special for me,” Moretti told reporters. “I play for my team first of all, and then for my family right after that. It was a really special moment for me.”
Tariq Owens, who is Moretti’s roommate on the road, said the team understood how important the night was for their Italian teammate.
“It meant a lot to Davide. We all are really close,” Owens said. “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.”
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