Travis Diner was one of the best players in our league for many years, first reaching the hearts of Sassari fans and then Vanoli Kremona. Along with his cousins Drake and Mayo Sachetti, the American won the Italian Cup in 2014, the first trophy in the history of Dynamo as an MVP. A few years later, he did it again: his hand in the Italian Cup again, this time with Cremona, the first trophy in club history on that occasion.
On February 1, 2021, you said in an interview, “I’m retiring. Maybe or not… “. Have you made a decision about it? Or will we see you in a wooden suit in the coming months?
I have not officially retired. In the last two seasons I have received some offers to return to the game, but so far none have been fixed. I continue to train for the competition when the right opportunity arises. The epidemic has made me think deeply about what might be the right opportunity for me and my family.
Your last vintage in Italy with Cremona in 2019/2020. What have you been doing for the last two years?
The last two years have been special for me, a little crazy, as well as for everyone given the epidemic. Here in Milwaukee I have opened a sports center and I come here every day. We have three basketball courts, one covered for football, the facility to improve strength and to follow the health of athletes. It was great to be able to give something back to the next generation of kids [maggiori informazioni qui, ndr].
Italy. A very important country for you since 2010. What do you miss most about our country?
My family and I love Italy. My wife wants to go back. I have experienced different cultures and experienced things that I never thought I would do in my life. The people of Italy and friendship are the things I miss the most. The people of Sassari and Kremona treated us so well that when the epidemic started two years ago, it was really difficult to stop the game there.
Travis Diner and Mayo Sachetti: A pair that has become historic for Italian basketball: What do you think of Mio? Do you hear it often?
I love Mio as a coach, but more than that as a friend. The seven years I played for him were full of joy and fun, I will never forget that. It gave me the opportunity to play with a lot of freedom, which I like. I still talk to Mio often, I am very happy with the success he has had with the national team.
Do you think Mio’s escape to Sassari affected Dinamo’s results in later years?
Mio is so successful in most of his coaching teams. Sasari has continued to do well in recent years. In professional sports, coaches often change. Mio and I are proud of what we have won at Sassari and Kremona. Winning the first trophy in club history is something I will never forget.
Do you have any regrets about never playing in a Euroleague with a dynamo shirt?
It would have been fun to play Eurolig, but I need a break from basketball. I am proud to be part of the team that brought the Eurolig to Sassari. The years spent in Sardinia, from their first year in Serie A to qualifying for the cup, were memorable. What the club has achieved in these four years is historic.
Experience with the national team at Eurobasket 2013. What are the best memories of that adventure? Tell us some special stories from Eurobasket 2013.
The experience at Eurobasket was special. It means a lot to me, my teammates immediately feel that I have been in the national team for many years. I always appreciate the way they treated me and treated me. I will never forget when Gigi Datom tried to teach me the Italian national anthem. The small moment that I will carry with me forever.
This year Sassari and Cremona are going through a complicated season. Are you following the Italian Championship?
I still follow Seri. I still have a lot of former teammates who play. Unfortunately Cremona is not having a good time, I hope they can get rid of. Sasari has been playing well lately and I hope he reaches the playoffs. Obviously I follow these two teams the most, but I also see what all my former teammates do.
Stefano Sardara says that if he finds the right buyer, will he sell Dynamo? Have you ever thought about it? Seriously, do you think that with the potential change in ownership, there is a risk that the size of the Dynamo Sassari will get smaller?
The Sardars did an incredible job of making Sasari and turning it into the team it is today. He always had a vision for the future. The business side of the club has always fascinated me and the way they have lived as a family. I think that was the main reason for our victory. I hope Stefano won’t sell the team, because in that case I think a lot will change.
You have won “The Basketball Tournament 2020” with the Golden Eagles, what are your memories of that experience?
The basketball tournament was a special moment. Wearing my Marquette shirt to score a shot to win a million dollars is something I will always remember. Basketball has given me so many moments and I am so grateful for that.
We thank Travis Diner for his availability and wish him well for his future, looking forward to seeing him again in Italy soon.
Milan. A graduate in Labor Management and Communication for Organizations at Catholic University, I founded BasketUniverso in 2011. Yes, I support Orlando Magic and do everything I can to hide it.