Cody Cousino / Photo editor
Ohio State men’s basketball should improve its outside shooting with the signing of Italian international Amedeo Della Valle, a player who says he’s ready for the rigors of the Big Ten.
Della Valle, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Alba, Italy, recently signed his letter of intent to play for the Buckeyes next season. Della Valle played high school basketball at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., helping the team to its third ESPN National High School Invitational Championship during his senior year.
Della Valle said his comfort level with OSU’s program and coaching staff helped him make the choice to become a Buckeye.
“I got to meet the coaches, meet the players, take a tour on campus and see all the facilities,” Della Valle said. “I really liked everybody there, so it was great.”
Michael Peck, Findlay Prep’s basketball coach, said Della Valle’s versatility is what made him stand out as a special player in high school.
“He can handle the ball, make plays off the bounce, find open teammates,” Peck said. “Plus, he’s a great 3-point shooter and just has a high IQ with an unbelievable feel for the game.”
Della Valle said he played multiple positions at Findlay Prep, but prefers to play off the ball on the wing because that’s where he feels most comfortable.
Rivals.com ranked Della Valle as a three-star recruit, and he will bring OSU to a total of 10 scholarship players after losing forward Jared Sullinger to the NBA Draft, as well as guard Jordsn Sibert and forward J.D. Weatherspoon to transfer.
Della Valle also played international basketball with the Italian national team in the Under-18 European Championships. He led the Italian team in scoring with just more than 15 points a game during the tournament.
Della Valle said playing for the Italian team and Findlay Prep were good experiences that will help him adapt to the level of competition in the Big Ten.
“They were good experiences because it helped me develop my game and will have me ready to go on day one,” Della Valle said. “Now, I think I’m really prepared.”
Nick Madray, Della Valle’s high school teammate, said he expects Della Valle to make the same impact for OSU that he made for Findlay Prep.
“I see him shooting the lights out at OSU,” Madray said. “Moving the ball around getting his teammates involved and helping Ohio State win more games.”
Della Valle will start classes and begin workouts June 18, and said he has plenty to work on during the offseason.
“The most important thing I need to work on is my strength and conditioning with the training staff,” Della Valle said. “Adding some weight will be better for me and develop my game more.”
He also received offers from Michigan, Texas A&M, Arizona and Gonzaga before choosing OSU. Della Valle said his decision ultimately came down to the winning history of the program including the team’s recent Final Four appearances.
“I think winning is the first priority for every player,” Della Valle said, who added that he knew OSU was a perfect fit for him during his visit to campus.