How To Pronounce Santiago Vescovi’s Last Name

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    Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

    ESPN college basketball color commentator Fran Fraschilla created controversy on Vol Twitter this weekend when he pronounced Tennessee junior guard Santiago Vescovi’s differently than everyone has in the Uruguayan native’s three years in Knoxville.

    Fraschilla — a former Rick Barnes’ assistant at Providence — announced both of Tennessee’s games as the Hall of Fame Tip-Off making the controversy last two days.

    Vol fans shared their anger and displeasure with Fraschilla on Twitter for the believed mispronunciation and Fraschilla returned the displeasure, calling Vol fans “idiots” while claiming Vescovi told him that pronunciation.

    The debate took on a life of its own with even the Tennessee basketball account getting in on the fun following the Vols’ blowout win over North Carolina.

    Vescovi said his phone blew up in the days following the tournament with people trying to get to the scoop.

    “During the day a lot of people were calling me, texting me or even people I ran into in the street or whatever, they’d be like, ‘hey, how do you pronounce your last name?’ I was like oh, wow,” Vescovi said.

    Meeting with the media Wednesday, the starting shooting guard provided some clarity on how to pronounce his last name.

    “Since I’ve gotten here people call me VescOvi,” Vescovi said. “I’ve just rolled with it. I don’t really care either way. I think that’s just easier for English people to pronounce it. Back home it would be VEScovi. The accent would be on the e instead of the o like people say here, but I don’t really care. I can go either one. Since I’ve gotten here everyone has called me VescOvi so I’m totally cool with it.

    “Just to clarify that, I don’t really care. I had a lot of people reaching out to me asking how to pronounce my last name and I’m like ‘I really don’t care’. Especially for the people closer to me, I was like ‘just call my Santi.’ Like, that’s it.”

    There you have it, Fraschilla was not wrong about the pronunciation but neither were Vol fans. Vescovi’s name emphasizes the E and not the O that everyone around Tennessee has emphasized. However, Vescovi isn’t sweating how anyone pronounces it.

    Tennessee’s pronunciation guide changed Vescovi’s name from vess-CO-vee to VESS-co-vee this offseason, likely leading to Franschilla’s change.

    Vol fans don’t care what Vescovi goes by as long as he keeps playing at the level has has four games into the season. The player Barnes called the Vols’ most improved this offseason is averaging 16.8 points, six rebounds and two assists per game this season.

    In the two game event in Connecticut, Vescovi totaled 40 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.

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