This summer, the shriveled state of Milwaukee Bucks rookie Donte DiVincenzo’s bank account went viral.
His teammate D.J. Wilson posted a photo to his Instagram story of DiVincenzo holding up his phone on the summary screen of his banking app: $2.68 in checking, $1.03 in savings. The first check from his rookie deal, which will pay him over $2 million this year, couldn’t come soon enough.
Now that he’s being paid like a pro, how did DiVincenzo celebrate his financial freedom? Did he channel his inner Mike Tyson and buy an exotic pet, or did he follow in Shaquille O’Neal’s large footsteps and go on a legendary spending spree?
“I don’t like to spend money,” says DiVincenzo with a smile. “I’m a saver.” The one thing he admits to purchasing is a car. “I need one now in the winter time,” DiVincenzo confesses. “I got a Jeep. That was the big splurge I made… I was comparing different cars and everything I came back to was the Jeep.”
As DiVincenzo explains how he made his big purchase only after doing his homework, it is hard to ignore the sense of maturity surrounding the 21-year-old guard. Some were surprised DiVincenzo decided to leave school with two years of eligibility left, but he believes his experiences at Villanova have helped him develop into a mature man who’s ready to make an impact in the NBA.
At Villanova, DiVincenzo stood out on one of the nation’s most talented college basketball rosters as the team’s sixth man. His most impressive performance came during the 2018 national championship game against Michigan, when he exploded for 31 points off the bench to help the Wildcats win their second championship in three years.
Despite DiVincenzo’s heroics, some doubted whether he was ready for the NBA, but the Bucks believe DiVincenzo’s shooting ability and athleticism will translate to the next level.
“I think he is going to be a great NBA player,” says guard Pat Connaughton, who is also new to the Bucks this season. “He shows flashes of all types of stuff, athleticism. And for us 6’4″, 6’5″ Caucasian guys,” he adds with a grin, “that is important.”
DiVincenzo’s role as sixth man during his college career – a rare path to an NBA roster – will help with his transition to the next level.
“I’m not coming in here [to Milwaukee] as the main guy on the team,” DiVincenzo says. “My role was my role. I kind of embrace that. Now coming into this, I am coming off the bench right away and that is what I am used to. That is my comfort spot.”
What will be different for DiVincenzo is that for the first time in his life he will consistently be playing far from his family’s home in Delaware.
“I am out here on my own,” DiVincenzo says. “It is the first real time in my life where I am not able to go home in 30 minutes. It is fine. I grew up. My mom and dad raised me right.”
With the season set to begin on October 17 – the Bucks tip off in Charlotte against the Hornets at 6 p.m. – DiVincenzo isn’t nervous about the first game of his pro career.
“There are going to be good games, bad games. The jitters are all done for me,” DiVincenzo said. “I played in front of 80,000 people. I’m not worried about that.”