Whilst most of Italy slept, one of their natives was at All-Star weekend dominating the three point contest, it was Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs.
It was around 4am in Italy when the NBA celebrated shooting guard Belinelli's triumph in the three point contest, but when the European nation awoke to the news, the country erupted with a showering of love for one of their own.
The football mad nation went 'mad for Marco', the Spur couldn't quite recall when his phone exploded with congratulatory texts and tweets from friends and family in his home nation.
Belinelli recalled: "Everybody was crazy and they’re still crazy, I’m the first Italian guy to win something in the states.”
The success that Belinelli and San Antonio are currently revelling in is being felt in Italy as well, the country is Silver and Black due to Marco's effect on the nation.
Flavio Tranquillo who is the voice for the NBA in Italy says: "The people in Italy hold the Spurs in such high esteem."
He also went on to say: "I suspect it’s a by-product of those four titles and of Manu being there. I can tell you that when a game is on National TV, Pop’s interviews draw a lot of attention. There are lots of fans and even more admirers who believe the Spurs play and win the right way.”
Belinelli has been a perfect fit to the Spurs system since joining in July 2013, the Italian idolised Manu Ginobili when he grew up and he has adopted the long distance shooting of his hero to his own game, something that has helped him reach his dream of playing in the NBA.
Belinelli defeated Washington Wizards Bradley Beal in the final round of the three point competition and Tranquillo speaks of the lasting effect of Belinelli's truimph: "Every Italian kid lived his dream through Marco, The victory is going to be remembered forever."