Having been selected with the 17th pick in Thursday’s draft, Donte DiVincenzo was officially introduced by the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday morning.
As is tradition, the Milwaukee Bucks held a press conference early on Monday morning to introduce Donte DiVincenzo, their latest addition via last week’s 2018 NBA Draft.
It’s been a whirlwind few days for the former Villanova standout since being selected 17th overall, and as he was presented to the assembled media in Milwaukee for the first time, he was joined by general manager Jon Horst and head coach Mike Budenholzer.
Among matters of general interest, it was revealed that DiVincenzo will wear the No. 9 jersey for the Bucks. The number has been worn frequently in Milwaukee in recent years, cycling through players such as Michael Beasley, Jared Cunningham, Chris Copeland and Jared Dudley.
Also worth noting, Horst was asked about the reports that emerged of a potential trade that fell through between the Hawks and Bucks centered around the 17th pick on Thursday night, but declined to comment by saying “I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on things that did or didn’t happen.”
Otherwise, Horst, Budenholzer and DiVincenzo all spoke about the 21-year-old’s addition to the team, how he fits in, and what the hopes are for him in the long and short term.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from that press conference.
Horst on why he chose DiVincenzo:
“Donte was a guy that when we went through our process, not only this season but last season, the video work we’ve done, bringing him here to Milwaukee, there were a number of things that stood out to us about him.
Obviously on the floor, the skill-set he has. He can pass, handle and shoot. He’s a very good athlete. He has positional size, and he’s a great competitor as [Coach] Bud has mentioned.
Off the court, it’s clear he came from a great family, had a great upbringing, is a man of high character. We think he’s going to be a tremendous teammate and that he’s going to push our guys to be even more competitive than we already are.
DiVincenzo on what he knew about the Bucks prior to being drafted:
“They have a superstar on the team, they’re a young team and they’re a playoff team. When I got my name called by them, I was so excited just to be able to play alongside somebody like Giannis, and to be able to play alongside people who just want to win. You see the way they play the game, their mentality throughout the game, and I just want to be a part of that.”
DiVincenzo on how he’ll benefit from his Sixth Man experience at Villanova:
“I think it will make it a bit easier, because I’m not coming in here with an ego. I’m not coming in here as the main guy on the national championship winning team. I’m just coming in here wanting to work and I want to fit in. That’s my main goal.”
DiVincenzo on his position and role with the Bucks:
“I don’t know. Honestly, I think they can just put me anywhere on the court and give me a role to do. Knock down shots, rebound, defend; just do a lot of the little things just to get started and get my feet wet. Then once I establish myself, my role will grow.”
Budenholzer on how he sees DiVincenzo fitting in:
“I think, as Donte said, he’s excited about just finding a way to fit in and contribute. He’s all about winning. The question about coming off the bench for a great team, the sacrifices he’s made in the past really spoke to all of us, and especially to me as a coach. He and I shared some stories, and I think it’s invaluable to have a player of his caliber come off the bench at that level for Coach Wright at Villanova. It’s just something that’s pretty unique to have a young man who’s willing to do that and make those sacrifices.
I think Donte will earn whatever role he gets, however it plays out over the course of the short-term and the long-term, but I can tell you we’re very excited about his abilities, what he can bring to us, and how he can help us win.”
DiVincenzo on how he fits alongside Giannis:
“Just being able to knock down shots around him. With him having the ball in his hands so much and him making plays, I just need to give the confidence to him that I’ll knock down shots. And then defensively, when he looks to his left and right and sees me out there with him on the court, that he’s confident that I’m out there defending and rebounding with him.”
DiVincenzo on how his life has changed in the last few days:
“I mean, everywhere I go now people notice me. It’s awesome. Just when I got here, when my family and I were walking around the hotel, and there’s just people yelling my name and welcoming me to the Bucks. It’s just a really good feeling.”
Horst on DiVincenzo’s readiness to contribute:
“We talk about contributing right away and there’s different ways to do that. There’s on the floor and there’s off the floor. We believe that Donte with his competitiveness, his athleticism and his skill-set will find a way to get on the floor and contribute. We know for sure that he’s going to push out guys in practice, that he’s going to contribute to culture in the locker room and that he’s going to contribute to the overall culture here in the organization.
DiVincenzo will likely next be seen representing the Bucks, when they get their Summer League campaign started in Las Vegas on July 6.