UCAM Murcia point guard Facundo Campazzo is finally having his breakthrough season in Europe. With Murcia, he is leading the 7DAYS EuroCup in steals, is second in assists, fourth in fouls drawn and is also producing his best scoring numbers since he arrived to Europe three years ago to join Real Madrid in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague after five seasons with Peñarol Mar del Plata.
Campazzo's Argentinian origins trace back to Cordoba, a city in that country that always related to basketball and has produced many players that would end up being big figures in European basketball, such as Pablo Prigioni and Fabricio Oberto. Growing up there, he had a few role models he could try to emulate when trying to become a professional player: "Many important players came out from the Cordoba area and its most famous team, Atenas Cordoba. Huge players like Marcelo Milanesio, Pablo Prigioni or Fabricio Oberto, players that would end up managing to succeed here in Europe," Campazzo said.
However, when Campazzo was a kid and decided that he wanted to play basketball seriously, many of those that surrounded him tried to convince him that he was too short for the sport. But Campazzo, despite being one of the shortest players in the EuroCup, standing at 1.79 meters, was never put off by what others said. "Those comments came in through one ear and went out the other. I was told I was too short many times, but it was never an obstacle for me."
In fact, when growing up, Campazzo played in a team in which most of the players were small, so they had to make up for their lack of centimeters with will power. "I got a kick out of playing basketball being so short. I used to play in a team where we were all short, so we had to put a lot of heart into our game if we wanted to win against the bigger guys," he said. "I still think that has stuck with me to this day."
A player that was an idol of Campazzo's when growing up, Prigioni, also ended up being a teammate of his on the Argentinian national team, and from him Campazzo learned a great deal to get better both as a player and as a person. "I had the chance to play with him. He is a player that teaches without even speaking. Just by being a pro, at a press conference, or even in life outside basketball. That helped me a lot later on in my life."
Campazzo's steps in basketball took him to the top of European basketball, as he managed to lift the EuroLeague trophy in the Spanish capital in 2015 and later also won the Spanish League title. After that, he moved on to Murcia for the 2015-16 season and managed to lead the team to its first European experience ever with its participation in the 7DAYS EuroCup. He also became a fan-favorite almost instantly thanks to his character on the court and stunts that showcased his abilities:
After only a few games in the competition, Campazzo has climbed the rankings to become one of the top point guards in the competition and to take UCAM Murcia to the top of the Group C standings at the halfway point of the regular season. It's just the beginning for the small Cordoba player with the huge heart.