Could Dallas Mavericks all-time great Dirk Nowitzki be in what is expected to be the largest attendance for a college basketball game ever when for the University of Kentucky Wildcats meet the University of Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA Championship game tonight? Countryman and starting U Conn SG Niels Giffey sure hopes so.
After the Huskies’ convincing win over the Florida Gators on Saturday night, an effusive Giffey hinted to Dastardly Dirk through media that “If he wants, he may like to come to the game on Monday.” Joked the senior, “I think he can get a ticket.”
If Giffey’s intuition is correct, Nowitzki would do well to be on-hand: Oft-quoted in Germany-based media and internationally is the Husky’s assertion that his team’s current run through the NCAA tournament is quite similar to that he experienced in his freshman year with the university. “We’re on a similar run,” Giffey said after the win over Florida, explaining that the common feature is that “everyone thought the [team] was pretty much dead.”
And while the young Team Germany player is certainly focused on tonight’s game, certain folks are focused in the summer thereafter – folks such as Alba Berlin sporting director Mithat Demirel. In the lead-up to the Connecticut-Florida semifinal game, Demirel spoke with Berlin-based Der Tagesspiegel about one of Germany’s currently most-discussed players.
“Of course, that’s a player we’d love to oblige,” Demirel stated. “That’s our player – He grew up with us in the club. We’re his hometown club.” Though Giffey is not expected to be playing NBA ball in 2014-15, Alba management reckons he will be “a very sought-after player this summer” in Europe.
Giffey originally left the Alba Berlin ranks to play college basketball in the US after reportedly informing the club that he felt he was “getting nowhere” in the club’s system; nevertheless, Demirel seems confident that Giffey will at least hear out an Alba offer.
In the meantime, there’s that NCAA championship game for Giffey to play in. No word yet on whether Nowitzki will be coming to Arlington; his Mavericks are currently between away games at Sacramento and Utah.