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Toledo’s Mariella Santucci Helps Italy Win Their First Game In The U20 European FIBA Championship

For fat lazy slobs like me, it’s the off season. For others, they are competing for national pride.

Kenneth Bailey

It wasn’t a great stat line. Three rebounds and an assist. The most important stat is the win. Her game really isn’t about stats. She does the little things that help teams win. Italy took on host Portugal and got the W. It was a somewhat close game, and you can watch it in it’s entirety here. Spoiler, there are no announcers. That may be a problem for some, but for me it was an opportunity. I did the play by play myself, and had a blast. I did it in a Jim Ross voice. I do that quite often. Like fake, individually wrapped cheese slices, it makes everything better.

It’s the off season. I am long way away from MAC football, and even farther removed from MAC basketball. However, I am not complaining. I found this little nugget of sport. These Europeans are pitting their 20 year old women, and under, in a basketball competition. One of those competitors plays for our Toledo Rockets, so now I have a rooting interest. It’s compelling sports, and that is fantastic. Obviously, I had to do some research to actually cover it, since I am not in Portugal.

I went to the website to see who won, and I was rewarded. I didn’t get the answer right away, I got a choice. I could click and find out, or I could watch the entire game. I chose the entire game. American websites should be so awesome. Can you imagine looking up who won the previous night’s NFL contest, and instead of getting the answer, getting the option to watch the actual game? Now to be fair, I am not going to lie, I did do quite a bit of fast forwarding but it was awesome to have that choice. The good girls won, and that made me happy.

The tournament is set up like the world cup, so winning the first group game is huge. They next play tomorrow at GMT +1. I am not going to pretend to know what the means, so I will probably not watch live. And I don’t have to. How awesome is that? Some of you are focused this off season on where the NBA free agents are going. Spoiler, Golden State is stacked and will win the whole thing again. Me, I am watching the FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship. I have no idea who is going to win, even after the game has been played. I’ll watch it at my leisure, which is what spectator sports should be all about. I am not going to feel bad because you are flipping through your twitter at 5AM to see which shitbag reserve signed with your NBA team for 20 million, while I wake up and watch competitors compete in an international competition when I decide to watch.