St. Ambrose basketball player adapts to new environment and culture
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - St. Ambrose freshman Ignacio Dacunda, known as Nacho, grew up more than 5,000 miles away from Davenport, Iowa, in Argentina.
“I’m happy here, and I’m happy with this team,” Nacho said.
Nacho said there is a difference in the style of play between the United States and Argentina.
“The basketball that they play here is much faster than what we play in Argentina,” Nacho said. “With the preseason, I just took some time to practice, and then for the games, I have adapted well.”
Head coach Ray Shovlain said recruiting has evolved a lot over the last decade when it comes to finding talent.
“A lot of young men and women are looking for international opportunities to come to the United States for a quality education and be involved in a really good athletic program,” Shovlain said. “We found [Nacho] through the internet, as far as availability, and we just communicated back and forth, and he felt St. Ambrose University is a very good fit for him academically, size-wise, community-wise.”
On the court, Nacho is making a difference.
“He’s mixed well. He’s a versatile player, so he kind of blends well with the other players. So, he’s just gotten better and better,” Shovlain said.
Nacho said his teammates have helped him adjust.
Will Spriggs, [has] helped me a lot to adapt to my game. [My teammates] give me some tips on how to be better in the game, and coach Ray also helps me a lot with that,” Nacho said. “These final games, I got the confidence that I needed, and I think that I am playing good.”
Nacho currently averages 6.5 points per game and is shooting better than 50% from the field.
“I think he’ll have a very good career here,” Shovlain said.
“As a team player, I want the team to win. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing good or bad, I want the team to win,” Nacho said.
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