Varese Basketball mourns the passing of Tony Gennari, who died yesterday at age 77 in the United States. He was the star with an Ignis jersey which he wore when he won an Intercontinental Cup and a Champions Cup. Gennari is one of the 14 members of the Red & Whites Hall of Fame established in 2006 on the sixtieth anniversary of the club’s foundation.
Tony Gennari arrived at Varese in 1964 with a reputation of a being a great scorer. A reputation he earned overseas at university level where he was also an NBA choice for the New York Knicks. He not only had a good physique for the time, but especially a first-rate technique. His name recalls the first Red & Whites successful international attempt – in 1966 when the Yellow & Blues quintet in Madrid, led by the duo of player-coaches Gavagnin-Vittori, triumphed in the Intercontinental Cup.
Among the first natives who came to our country to play basketball, in that same year of 1966, he was the star that made a lot of ripples.
He was deployed as an Italian in the Scudetto play-offs against Simmenthal which took place in Rome. The match was won by Ignis (10 points in the last 13 minutes), but for a regulatory quibble linked to how Gennari was being used, the title was given to the Milanese club a few days later. After his time at Libertas Forlì Basketball and Milano Basketball 1958, Gennari returned to Varese in 1971-72, proving once again to be decisive with 70 to 69 against Spalato that allowed him to bring his second European Cup to Varese.