He’d prefer it if you called him “Gigi.” He’s single, in case anybody’s interested.

And, yes, the newest member of the Detroit Pistons, Italian sharpshooter Luigi Datome, said Monday he plans on keeping both the full beard and the ponytail.

“Yes, why not?” he laughed, shortly after signing his first NBA contract. “So people will recognize me easier.”

But all joking aside, the 25-year-old MVP of the Italian League wants everyone to recognize his American dream — “and for sure, this was my dream for a long time,” he told me — is one that fans in Detroit should embrace, too.

“I want to come here and show that I deserve to be an NBA player,” he said.

Clearly, the Pistons think he does, and will. And while Monday’s signing won’t register the same as last week’s Josh Smith introduction or today’s Chauncey Billups return, it’s an intriguing addition, nonetheless.

Not just because of the accent, either, though Datome’s brief news conference at the practice facility Monday certainly had a different rhythm than the one that immediately followed for Will Bynum, who also re-upped with the Pistons for two more years.

Datome, a 6-foot-8 forward, said he’s bracing for a little culture shock here in Detroit, even as he recalled his first trip to the United States as a 4-year-old, visiting New York, Miami and Orlando. He was back here as a teenager, competing against the likes of Kevin Durant at the 2006 Nike Hoops Summit in Memphis, and later as a member of the Italian national team playing exhibitions against college teams. There was another trip in 2010 to watch the NBA Finals in person — Game 4 in Boston, Game 6 in Los Angeles — with a pit stop in Las Vegas.