July 28, 2015
Antonia Peresson knows a lot about long-distance connections.
She chose to attend college at Georgia Tech, uprooting from her native Pordenone, Italy.
Once in Atlanta, Peresson was stellar in the classroom and on the court.
Recently, she was named one of three Yellow Jackets on the women’s basketball team (along with senior forward Roddreka Rogers and fellow sophomore, center Simi Avram) and 173 Georgia Tech student-athletes to earn a spot on the ACC Honor Roll, recognizing academic excellence.
Athletically, the versatile 5-9 guard finished second in assists (63) and was one of the Jackets’ best three-point shooters, hitting .302 from behind the arc (32-for-106), fourth on the squad.
Over the summer Peresson showed that she has become one of her country’s top U20 three-point threats.
At the Under-20 European Championships Antonia averaged 9.1 points, grabbed 1.7 rebounds, handed out 2.6 assists in 26.1 minutes per game (third on the team). She also led the team in three-point field goals made (20) and assists (23), while hitting 42.6 percent of her shots from long range (20-for-47). Italy finished 5-4, in fifth-place finish. While they missed out on getting a medal, the team was competitive throughout, losing two games by six points and another by four, while giving the tournament’s eventual champion Spain and runner-up France all they could handle before falling to them.
Peresson is back on campus and recently took time to talk with The Good Word about her summer hooping it up in Teguise (on the island of Lazarote), living in Pordenone and gearing up for the coming season on the Flats.
THE GOOD WORD: You had an exciting summer. How was your experience playing with the Italian National Team in the Under-20 European Championships?
Antonia Peresson: It was great. I had like one month and they did trials, then they chose the top players and we went to the European Championship. We reached fifth place. We could have done more but we are happy for what we’ve done. We played great except for one game. We lost the quarterfinals against France. It was a tough game because we were like down one with like three minutes to go. We should have won the game but it was great. We were a great team. Everybody did what they had to do. Everybody played great because we were playing together. I enjoyed it.
TGW: How did playing your first season at Georgia Tech under coach MaChelle Joseph help when you came home for trials then the Championships?
PERESSON: A lot. First of all, I had more confidence in myself so I played more relaxed. This year really helped me a lot in playing in the European Championships. This year, here, at Georgia Tech, Coach Jo made me shoot more threes than twos so I got used to that type of game. I prefer to shoot threes than twos.
TGW: How does the competition at the European Championships compare with the ACC?
PERESSON: It’s so much different. Here it’s a game that’s faster, more physical. In Europe we play slower, thinking a little bit more. It’s different to play with people that play in the Italian League or in the Spanish or French League. It’s so different. Each country plays in a different way.
TGW: What was the most fun thing you did away from basketball this summer?
PERESSON: I went home for a month before going to the trials. I really enjoyed being with my family and my friends, staying home. I really needed that and I really enjoyed that.
TGW: Looking ahead to your second season with Georgia Tech, where do you most want to improve?
PERESSON: Last year I tried to focus on basketball but also on school. I will try to do the same, to do well in school, to try to reach the best grades and stay with my teammates. I want to be more physical. I really need to work on my body to get faster, stronger and I’m working in the training room with [Director of Player Development for Olympic Sports] Scott [McDonald]. I think that I still have to improve in each area. So I will try to get better every day, do workouts every day and then try to be better in everything. I think this year, we are such a great team. I like everybody. We can do really big things.
TGW: What’s it like going home to someplace where so many people in the world want to visit?
PERESSON: I know. The food, the cities, I really enjoyed that when I went home. I ate a lot of food, but good food (laughs). I went to Rome, to Florence, I went around Italy with my dad. It was really cool.