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Checking in on an old friend: Federico Mussini starting for Reggio Emilia

The former Mullin recruit has been developing in his return to Italy

Former St. John’s point guard Federico Mussini (4) has found limited success in return to native Reggio Emilia.
Wendell Cruz

After two up and down collegiate seasons in the States, former St. John’s guard Federico Mussini is finding a niche back home in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Mussini, in his first year are a professional, has broken into the starting lineup with the senior club of Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia, where he played his youth club ball before coming to New York City to play for Chris Mullin.

Mussini has started nine of 18 games this fall for Reggio Emilia in both the national league (Lega Basket Serie A) and in the high-level EuroCup, averaging 4.8 points in 17.8 minutes played per game.

In Serie A, Mussini has shot 35.7 percent on three-pointers, helping Reggio Emilia reach ninth place in the 16-team league at 4-7. Mussini had a season-high 18 points with three 3-pointers in an loss to Dolomiti Energia Trento on October 29.

In the EuroCup, Reggio Emilia has two games left to qualify for Top 16 play in the 24-team tourney. Mussini’s team has posted a 3-5 record and currently sits in fifth place in group play, needing a pair of wins and some help to qualify for the next round.

Mussini has seem limited playing time so far in the tournament, as he has made just 8-of-42 shots from the field in 141 minutes in eight games.

Mussini, one of the five recruits Chris Mullin signed after he took over as St. John’s head coach in 2015, struggled as the Red Storm’s primary distributor as a freshman but improved in an off-the-ball role with the additions of Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett in his last season in Queens.

Mussini shot 42.7 percent from downtown averaging 19.2 minutes of playing time in 30 games a year ago before he decided to return to Europe for his professional career.

Mussini, 21, is now teammates with former Knick James “Flight” White and fellow former Big East players Jalen Reynolds (Xavier, 2012-2016) and Chris Wright (Georgetown, 2007-2011). Former Ohio State guard Amedeo Della Valle is Reggio Emilia’s leading scorer in Serie A and EuroCup play.

Reggio Emilia finishes group play in the EuroCup with games against Hapoel Jerusalem on December 20 and undefeated Bayern Munich on the 27th. Second round play would begin on January 3.