Marco Mordente has stunned everyone, including himself, by making it into Italy`s EuroBasket squad.
Mordente was included in Carlo Recalcati`s final group on Thursday as one of four changes to the team that won the Olympic silver medal in Greece.
Recalcati knew the 26-year-old playmaker well after coaching him at Montepaschi Siena in the 2003-04 campaign, the year the club won its first-ever Lega A title.
He also coached Mordente at the Mediterranean Games this summer. Mordente spent the 2004/05 season with Bipop Carire Reggio Emilia before joining new coach David Blatt at Italian giants Benetton Treviso in July.
Speaking on Benetton`s official website, he said: "After the Mediterranean games, where I played well, I thought I had a chance to be part of this (Italy) team, and in the end our coach has chosen me instead of Marco Carraretto.
"I will do everything I can to repay Recalcati for this choice.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for me, to be a part of this unbelievable and strong team is a fantastic sensation. Italy is a tremendous group, a well respected team around the world.
"If chances come for me, I will be ready to take them," added a confident Mordente.
"To play in a European Championship doesn't happen everyday and I want be ready and even play in it."
A team-mate of Mordente`s at Bipop, Angelo Gigli, is also a newcomer, along with Stefano Mancinelli and Armani Jeans Milano veteran guard Dante Calabria.