NewsFormer MVNU Basketball Standout Heads to Italy to Play
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - Phil Argento, a former standout on the Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s basketball team, recently signed a one-year contract to play professional basketball in Italy.
"I am really thrilled that Phil has been given this opportunity to play professionally,” said MVNU head coach Scott Flemming. "This has been a goal of his, and it is great to see it come to fruition. Italy is one of the highest levels of basketball outside of the United States. If given the chance to play some significant minutes, I have no doubt that Phil can contribute at that level.”
Argento, who is in the process of finalizing his paperwork to have dual American and Italian citizenship, signed a one-year contract to play for Taranto, a lower division team in southern Italy. However, upon his arrival earlier this week, his agent, Massimo Rizzo, had already landed him a tryout with Banco di Sardegna in Sassari. In his debut with the team on Thursday, Argento scored five points off the bench in limited action against Virtus Bologna, a team that featured former Indiana University star A.J. Guyton. Banco di Sardegna competes in Lega Due, the second-highest league in Italy.
While at MVNU, Argento compiled a school-record 2,338 career points and nailed 465 career three-pointers - the sixth-highest total in college basketball history - from 1999-2003. Argento was twice selected as an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and was also the American Mideast Conference South Division Player of the Year as a senior in 2002-2003 when he averaged a school-record 22.4 points per game and nailed a then-record 149 three-pointers.
"I’m glad that this has finally happened and that I have the opportunity to go and do it,” said Argento after 14 months of waiting for an opportunity to play professionally. "I am excited and a little nervous because I’m leaving the country and all my family and friends, but I’m grateful that God has given me this opportunity.”
Argento becomes the fourth MVNU men’s basketball player to play professionally overseas. He joins former Cougars Adam Stevens and Todd Sands, who played in England, and Kenny Chaffin, who played in France.