When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, four-year-old Adam Sollazzo replied, “a professional basketball player” as he continued to shoot on the baby hoops at the Brandon YMCA. Now, 20 years later, as the first American player signed by Acmar Ravenna, an Italian professional basketball team, the Armwood High School alumnus and 2008 Tampa Tribune Basketball Player of the Year is awaiting his first play-off season as a professional.
The 6’7” guard averages 20 points per game (PPG), and is fourth in the league in scoring and third in making free throws.
“I’ve always dreamt of being a professional basketball player,” Sollazzo said, “and now I am living my dream.”
After the play-offs this month, Sollazzo will return to the Tampa area to give back to the community.”
“I’m very excited to help other young dreamers out there,” he said.
Sollazzo, with the help of Seffner Beef O’Brady’s, will hold his first basketball skills camp for girls and boys this June-July at Tampa Prep. Two three-hour-sessions will be offered. The first session will concentrate on developing skills for boys and girls in fifth-eighth grades, and the second session will be devoted to strengthening and building the skills of boys and girls in ninth-twelfth grades.
“You have to strive to do your best in everything you do. Basketball, school and being a good person,” he said.
Sollazzo, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from East Tennessee State University, was also the Atlantic Sun Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year and the Division I National Scholar Athlete of the Year. He hopes to inspire his campers to strive for excellence in the classroom as well.
“You won’t get to take a step onto a collegiate court without succeeding in the classroom,” he said. “You have to have the grades and SAT scores to get into college, and you have to keep them to stay on the court. I can’t wait to show my campers that dreams can come true through hard work and dedication to all aspects of your life.”
Individuals interested in attending Sollazzo’s camp can e-mail Sollazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org.