After two-time First Team All-Patriot League selection Vlad Moldoveanu went unselected in the 2011 NBA Draft, AU students and fans were unsure of the star’s future.
But in July 2011, Moldoveanu signed with Benetton Treviso, a professional basketball club in the Italian Serie A League. Fast forward nearly one year later and Moldoveanu is already making his mark in Europe.
“He has had a good year,” AU Head Coach Jeff Jones said. “His numbers don’t jump out at you, but I think he’s pleased with how his rookie season is going. He’s playing against great competition, he’s receiving outstanding coaching and he’s having a great opportunity to learn. I think all of that is a positive for him.”
Moldoveanu is coming off a career-best performance after leading in two-point field goal percentage in the Last 16 phase of the Eurocup. That is the second most important cup in Europe, after the Euroleague.
The former Eagle forward also recently poured in 12 points and three rebounds in just 22 minutes of play against Mens Sana Basket, the best team in Italy which features former New Orleans Hornet David Andersen.
Moldoveanu is enjoying himself overseas while playing for one of the top teams in Italy. Benetton has produced notable NBA players such as former No. 1 overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani and Toni Kukoc, who won three NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls.
“I really like my current situation,” Moldoveanu said. “Benetton Treviso is a very good organization. Tremendous players and coaches have gone through here, so I think their tradition speaks for itself. I am fortunate to play here. It has been a great experience.”
Despite his busy schedule, Moldoveanu has been able to keep in touch with members of the AU community. He talks often with the managers of the basketball team, and has even given Charles Hinkle advice on the process of getting his professional basketball career going.
“I keep in touch with everyone at AU,” Moldoveanu said. “AU is like a family, so we will always be close together. I talk to them about basketball-related stuff, and just how everyone has been doing. Sometimes it is good to get to give advice to someone in need. I also talk to them about how it is here and how things work, so they know for future reference when they have other players go through the same experiences I have gone through.”
One thing that makes members of the AU population optimistic about Moldoveanu’s future is his work ethic and desire to improve. His dedication to the game is unparalleled by many and is one component of what makes him the player he is.
“Knowing Vlad’s competitive instincts and work effort, he is going to get better,” Jones said. “He wants to be better. He wants to be the best that he can be and he’s not afraid to put in work. That’s a pretty good recipe for success.”
Moldoveanu plans on doing exactly what Jones describes and has set lofty goals and expectations for himself to try to reach his maximum potential. He plans on using Italy as a launching point, not destination, for the rest of his career.
“I want to qualify for the European Championship with my national team, become one of the best power forwards in Europe and make it to the NBA in a couple of years,” Moldoveanu said. “From how my rookie season went, I think it is all attainable and it is up to me if I make those steps or not. Until I reach those goals, I will just keep working.”