Steve Dagostino describes his time with the Sheffield Sharks as ‘one of the greatest experiences in his professional career’ and the point guard will be most remembered for his scintillating display in the 2011 BBL Cup Final.
“For me the CUP was amazing. As a team we couldn’t have played a better game and my confidence was sky high that day,” admitted Dagostino, who poured in 35 points on 8-10 shooting from downtown to earn the MVP award.
Mersey Tigers, recently withdrawn from the BBL, went on to win the treble after their Dagostino-inflicted defeat but the Final MVP questioned the thinking behind the building of their roster:
“For me, Mersey was a great team. However, it was almost surreal because they put together a team they couldn’t pay for. So, in the end, I don’t know if their season was really worth it.”
Dagostino had averaged 17.4 points per game and 3.4 assists with the Sharks in their 2010-11 league campaign as they reached the Final of the Play-Offs after a third placed league finish. That was as well as helping the Yorkshire club defend the BBL Cup and despite just one season in the BBL, the American-Italian has fond memories of his time in the UK.
“England as a whole was great! I had a great time off the court, and we won a lot of games on the court. It doesn’t get much better than that,” Dagostino said.
The 28 year-old has not managed to settle with a side since his time in the UK having played for three teams in the 2011-12 season. The dual-national first moved to Iceland before heading to Spain where he made the step-up from LEB Silver to LEB Gold after catching the attention of Force Lleida after just four games with Oviedo CB.
“I had the opportunity to play in Leb Gold Spain which is a high level of basketball. Playing in front of 4000 fans a night is amazing, and they play the game the right way.”
Dagostino was also appreciative of the support he received at Sheffield, praising the organisation whilst not ruling out a return as well as also revealing another possible destination should he come back to the BBL. During his time with the Sharks, Dagostino was in regular contact with Leicester Riders‘ head-coach Rob Paternostro but turned them down last season, in favour of a move to France, despite his interest in linking up with the 2012-13 BBL Coach of the Year.
“If we ever got the chance to team up with would really be special. I was glad to see their domination in the league last year. They definitely are doing the things the right way, and if I ever came back to England I would want to play in Sheffield or Leicester.”
Dagostino opted for a bigger contract in the French Pro-A league with Quimper but was forced to miss the season due to a back injury. The 5’11” guard is planning to return to the court in January as he continues to recover while his wife is currently pregnant with their first child.
Time off the court has enabled the former Saint-Rose college star to put more hours into the gym and he insists the year off has made him a ‘better player’. Also away from action, Dagostino is the owner and lead trainer of the Dags Basketball programme (www.dagsbasketball.com).
“I have been training players for 5 years now in between playing overseas.
“We train College programs, High School programs, Professional Players all the way down to Youth Players. We offer a wide range of services and have put together a really intense, efficient, and effective program,” he added.
Dagostino has aims of taking his programme to Europe to enable youth clubs to have the same opportunity which he offers in America. He gave two examples of players that are trained by Dags Basketball of whom he believes to have ‘great potential in Europe’.
“Mike Black (Point Guard) who is a 1st Team All America East Selection (NCAA1) and Devin Grimes (6’6″ SF) who has an Irish Passport. Devin led NCAA2 in Rebounding at 11.4/g while averaging 15 ppg. Our business has really taken off!” said a proud trainer.
Whilst not ruling out an eventual return to the BBL with either Sheffield or Leicester, Dagostino also admits he is in constant contact with coaches in Spain and Italy as he prepares to make his return in 2014.
Favourite Player: Steve Nash (I pattern my game after him)
Best player(s) played against: LaMarcus Aldridge, Hakim Warrick and Al Jefferson
To keep up to date with how the former Shark is getting on, follow him on Twitter (@DagsBasketball) and check out his site over at www.dagsbasketball.com and check out one of his training drills below: