Giovanni Garbella, a student at Cathedral Catholic High School, returned recently from competing in the World Junior U18 Baseball Championship in Seoul, South Korea. Giovanni represented the Italian National Team in the tournament, which attracts elite baseball teams from countries all over the world who, after extensive tryouts, send their best players to compete.
Twelve countries competed from Aug. 30 - Sept. 9. Italy was in a group competing with Canada, Panama, Japan, Taipei and the Czech Republic. Teams competing in another group were the U.S., Venezuela, Colombia, Korea, Australia and the Netherlands.
Giovanni started playing baseball when he was 5 years old with the La Jolla Youth Baseball. He currently plays soccer and baseball at Cathedral Catholic High School, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Nicola, who was voted the Don’s MVP of their 2011 CIF baseball team.
Being of Italian American heritage and holding dual citizenship, Giovanni spent numerous summers playing baseball in Italy with the local team of Aosta, north of Turin, where his father, Orlando, is from and where his grandmother lives.
Giovanni was selected to the alternate list of players for the U14 USA baseball team in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Junior Olympics in Peoria, Arizona, then the following year played for the Italian National Team when he won the European U15 Championship, securing the win in the final against the Czech Republic with an inside-the-park Grand Slam. This year, at 16 years old, he was selected to the U18 Italian National Team and represented his father’s home country in the XXV 18U 2012 Baseball World Championship.
In the tournament, he found his school-mate, senior Stephen Gonsalves, representing USA which won the tournament. Stephen pitched two games with two wins and a ERA of 1.12.
Giovanni plans to continue playing baseball at Cathedral, where he is also the starting soccer goalie. His interest in sports is coupled with serious academic pursuits, as he holds a 3.75 GPA and his leadership was recognized this year when he was selected to be a member of the ASB as Commissioner of Athletics. He plans to study engineering or physics in college.