Summer program begins overseas for Danilo Gallinari

Denver Nuggets forward attends Eurocamp 2012 in native Italy
by Aaron Lopez

When Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari packed his bags and left Pepsi Center for the summer, he vowed to work hard toward erasing the painful memory of a Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“That’s motivation for me personally,” he said on May 14. “I didn’t play good, so it’s going to be motivation for me to improve and be ready for those kind of challenges.”

That process is in full swing.

Gallinari has spent the past few days working with Nuggets assistant Melvin Hunt in advance of the annual adidas Eurocamp taking place this week in Treviso, Italy. Hunt is one of 11 coaches at the Eurocamp – the only officially sanctioned NBA predraft camp outside of the United States.

Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is among dozens of NBA executives attending the camp, which has produced NBA players such as Gallinari, Andrea Bargnani, Nicolas Batum and Serge Ibaka.

Gallinari is scheduled to speak to this year’s camp participants. The engagement is part of a busy offseason that will also include an appearance with the Italian national team as it tries to qualify for the 2013 European Championships.

“Gallo’s going to work,” Ujiri said. “We have a good summer planned out. I think he’s going to get stronger. He already got stronger from when he came (to the NBA in 2008) to where he is now.”

Drafted sixth overall in 2008, Gallinari was on pace for a career season in 2011-12 before missing 23 games because of a sprained left ankle and broken left thumb. He still averaged 14.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 43 games.

“Gallo made a jump this season,” Ujiri said. “There was a stretch where I think we all were talking about him as a big-time player and then he got hurt. He’s looking to work on his game and keep improving.”