6 years later, yesterday, I got to meet Andrea again. This time, the venue is different. At this meet & greet event at 738 Sheppard Ave. East Pizza Pizza location (@PizzaPizzaLtd). All proceeds will be donated to the Children Miracle Network (@CMNCanada), a non-profit organization that saves & improves kids’ lives by raising funds for 170 children’s hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada. So, even after the Raptors season was over, Andrea still stays around in Toronto, giving back his valuable time to the communities & raise awareness to the charitable organization. That’s very nice of him!
It was a very hot, sunny, humid day but that didn’t stop the die-hard Raptors fans from waking up early to secure the 150 wristbands available to get to meet Andrea and get his autographs. I still remembered I woke up early to secure a wristband 6 years ago at FCP, just to see Andrea, so I could totally understand the excitement from other Raptors fans. Although, this time around, I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Andrea for my show “MoVernie On the Move” that will be played on www.pptv.ca every 20 minutes across 200+ Pizza Pizza stores. Thus, I didn’t have to get a wristband. Lucky me! But it’s funny how after 6 years, my love of the Raptors lead me into this gig and who would have thought a die-hard autograph seeker would now turned out to become a TV Celebrity Host, who could interview the player he saw 6 years ago? It just shows you, anything is possible if you believe in yourself!
Andrea came in with a BIG smile, said hi to every friendly Pizza Pizza staff. He took time to talk to every Raptors fans, signed autographs, coordinate with the fans the best place to sign his autograph on the photos or jerseys. He would stand up to accommodate some fans’ requests to have a photo of his 7-footer body. Honestly, it’s a lot of work to stand up and down with such a tall figure, but Andrea did it with pleasure & really enjoyed spending the time with his fans.
After every Raptors fans got their wish to shake hands with IL Mago (Bargnani’s nickname in case you don’t know by now, meaning “Magician”), I finally got to interview him. I got to ask many questions and Bargnani was able to provide alot of good information and his insights about his own goals and team goals coming next season. He even taught me some Italian words and we talk about cars and what he drives. He is really a genuine, down-to-earth guy.
Last but not least, after the interview, Andrea wanted to go to the kitchen and create his own pizza pizza. He got some good lessons from the Pizza Pizza “coach” and he made a delicious veggie pizza pizza for one of his MLSE staff on hand, which is the most colourful pizza pizza I have ever seen.
I wish Andrea best of luck to his career. I look forward to seeing him and the Raptors making the playoffs next year. I would love to interview him again in the near future (maybe inside the Raptors locker room?).
Bacco in Lupo! (Best of luck in Italian)
My interview with Andrea Bargnani will be air soon on www.pptv.ca and across 200+ Pizza Pizza stores. If you also want to see some of the footage of IL Mago making his own pizza pizza creation, remember to check back here often. Stay tuned for his interviews soon.
Follow me on twitter @MoVernie