Rivalry Renewed: America East alums Dane DiLiegro and John Holland take their competition, friendship, to the world stage.Monday, November 5th, 2012
The America East season may not begin until Albany tips off against Duquesne on Friday, November 9th at 6:30 pm, but two days earlier, an America East rivalry will be renewed. Only this time, instead of the dirty orange light of the glorified high school gymnasiums of the AE, it will be played under the bright lights of the world stage.
Nearly five years ago, on cold Boston night in January of 2008, two unheralded freshmen took the floor in an empty Case Gymnasium. Half a decade, over 3,600 miles, and an ocean away from their first encounter, former University of New Hampshire Wildcat Dane DiLiegro and former Boston University Terrier John Holland will face off again Wednesday night; the tenth time in their careers that they have gone head-to-head, but the first time as professionals.
Holland and DiLiegro will be playing in the Eurocup, a transnational professional basketball league — second only to the prestigious EuroLeague — comprised of top teams from the top leagues in Europe. DiLiegro will be taking the floor for Banco Di Sardigna Sassari of the Italian SerieA League, the top league in Italy and one of the top domestic leagues in the world outside of the NBA. Holland will be suiting up for Cajasol Banca Civica Sevilla of the Spanish ACB League, the top league in Spain and arguably the top domestic league in the world after the NBA.
“Its unbelievable being able to play against him again,” said DiLiegro excitedly while relaxing in Sassari, a city that sits on the northwest coast of the island of Sardigna, Italy. “I’m hoping that maybe I can get the opportunity to make him miss a free throw by making him laugh or something.”
“It’s going to be really fun to compete against him again.” said Holland, enjoying some down time in Sevilla, a city that sits on the Guadalquivir River in Spain. “I always admire his energy.” (more…)