Champaign, ILL.— Italian point guard Niccolo Moretti has signed a Big Ten Tender of Financial Aid and is set to join the Fighting Illini Basketball program. Moretti will enroll at the University of Illinois for the 2023 spring semester, giving the Illini another mid-year addition on the heels of French forward Zacharie Perrin.
Moretti is a 6-foot-1 point guard from Bologna, Italy. He arrives in Champaign from Canberra, Australia, where he was a member of the NBA Global Academy. The NBA Global Academy is a year-round elite basketball training center at Basketball Australia’s Center of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport.
“We are excited to add Niccolo to our team and begin working with him as he transitions to the college game,” head coach Brad Underwood said. “Nicco is a pure point guard who excels in ball screens and can score at all three levels. He is what you look for in a point, he has great vision, basketball IQ, and makes his teammates better.”
Moretti trained under the direction of legendary Australian coach Marty Clarke, and alongside top international prospects from around the world. In July, he traveled to Atlanta with NBA Global Academy to participate in the fourth NBA Academy Games, averaging 10.3 points and 3.5 assists. He most recently returned to the US in December to participate in the Tarkanian Classic followed by an exhibition game at the G League Winter Showcase, where he scored 19 points and dished out 10 assists in a win against NBA Academy Africa.
Moretti helped lead Italy to a 4-3 record and sixth-place finish at the FIBA U18 European Championships from July 30-August 7 in Izmir, Turkey. He averaged 9.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists, highlighted by 15 points, six assists and five steals in a round of 16 victory over Greece. Moretti finished the tournament against his future Illini teammate, as Perrin and France defeated Italy in the fifth-place game.
Moretti is a 2022 graduate of DME Sports Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida.
His older brother, Davide Moretti, played at Texas Tech for three seasons, helping lead the Red Raiders to a national title game appearance as a sophomore. Current Illini star Terrence Shannon Jr. was a freshman at Texas Tech in 2019-20, Davide’s final season in Lubbock.