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Jonathan Tavernari is a 6’6” shooting for Agropoli Basket in the Italian League, and a former star for the BYU basketball team. BYU Insider caught up with JT via email over the holidays and was able to ask him a few questions about his professional career, BYU, and his plans moving forward. Note: you can read the entire JT profile by scrolling down past the interview.
BYU Insider: Do you still have contact with any of the coaches or players from BYU?
JT: Absolutely. From guys I played my freshman year, to all the ones that are playing professionally, I get to see most of them every summer. Same with the coaches, maybe a tad more with more Coach Rose and Terry and Tim.
BYU Insider: Do you have a fondest memory or accomplishment from your time at BYU?
JT: Probably my first championship, something that seemed far away but we always believed we could achieve, the first week we got ranked. The team achievements trumped my personal accolades. Because BYU hadn’t received much national attention for almost two decades until Coach Rose took over.
BYU Insider: What are your thoughts on the current Cougar squad (2015-16)?
JT: I think it’s a team that needs to find its essence. That’s the key to every Coach Rose team. Guys do well, then drop, then do well again. It has been a while since a group of guys has been together for 3-4 years, much like Trent, Lee, myself, Chris Miles, Brandon, Jim, Jackson, Noah and Charles did. It also has been a while since BYU has had 3-4 pros in the same team. That definitely helps.
BYU Insider: What are a few things that most BYU fans probably wouldn’t know about playing basketball professionally overseas?
JT: Probably that the salaries and wages aren’t nearly as close as those in the NBA.
BYU Insider: What do you like most (and least) about playing basketball professionally?
JT: My favorite is how I’m able to play basketball for a living. It’s a great career. The least is that I know it’ll be over someday. I can’t do this for 20-30 years.
BYU Insider: What do you do during the off-season?
JT: I usually spend it in Utah with family and friends, working out.
BYU Insider: Any idea of what you’d like to do once you retire from playing basketball?
JT: I’d love to go back to BYU and work there at some capacity. Maybe with basketball, or the athletic department. I worked in sales this past summer and I absolutely loved that experience, so that’s something I might look into it after I hang up the Nikes.
Jonathan Tavernari Player Profile
JT currently plays for Italy’s Agropoli, but he has played for many other teams over the last 15 years. Below is a brief summary of his entire playing career.
Professional Career. Tavernari’s professional career has played out in both Brazil (Pinheiros, Derthona) and Italy (Pallacanestro Biella, Pistoia, Scafati, and current team Agropoli). He’s currently starting for Agropoli and is averaging 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 31.2 minutes (through 14 games). He’s also played for the Brazilian national team, debuting at the FIBA World Olympic qualifying tournament in 2008. He was a member of the gold medal FIBA Americas team in 2009, and the South American Championship team in 2010. In 2010 he averaged 11 points and shot 55% in the tournament. He also played for the FIBA team in 2013 and 2014.
BYU. Tavernari was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2007, averaging 6.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. He was an all-MWC third team member both his sophomore and junior seasons. As a senior Tavernari won the MWC 6th man award after asking coach Dave Rose to let him come in off the bench. He finished his BYU career as the winningest player in school history (105 games), and set school records for games played (132), three pointers shot (698) and made (265), and made top 15 all-time in points, steals, and rebounds. He has stated that the highlight of his BYU career was beating Florida in double overtime in the first round of the 2010 NCAA tournament.
High School. Jonathan Tavernari was born in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil where he was a member of the national team for his age group. He moved to Utah at 15 for more basketball opportunities and played his junior season at Timpview High School where he averaged 12.8 points per game and was named second-team Region 6 and second-team All-Valley (Deseret News). He then moved to Las Vegas where he starred for perennial powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School. As a senior he averaged 23.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and was nominated to the McDonald’s All-American team. He was also named to the second-team all-state by the Last Vegas Review-Journal and the Reno-Gazette Journal. Tavernari was regarded by some as the top high schooler to ever come out of Brazil.
Tavernari was a 2-star recruit (Rivals, Scout), ranked No. 2 overall in Nevada by 247 sports. He was recruited by BYU, Oregon State, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Washington State.
|Hometown:||Las Vegas, Nevada||High School||Bishop Gorman|
|Last Team:||Bishop Gorman||AAU Team:||Houston Swoosh|
|Position:||Shooting Guard||HT/WT:||6’6”, 220 lbs.|
|Profiles:||BYU Profile, MaxPreps Profile||@For3JT|
|[usrlist Rivals:2 Scout:2 ESPN:2 avg=”true”]||Offers: BYU|
- BYU remains very close to former basketball star Jonathan Tavernari’s heart – Jeff Call, Deseret News, June 3, 2014
- Tavernari’s journey of faith – Dick Harmon, Deseret News, February 18, 2010
- Sleepers still can be discovered – Andrew Skwara, Sporting News, February 23, 2006