It all started on 1st August 1945, in the porter’s lodge of the famous Casa dello Sport. In fact, twelve pioneers of basketball, which at that time was a virtually unknown sport, founded Pallacanestro Varese in the gym-monument of Varese. In truth, back in the 1920’s and 30’s, five gymnasts developed a passion for this new sport and created a first team, but failed to set up a proper club. So, the white-and-red team, which is now celebrating a special anniversary – its 70th – was only born after the second world war thanks to the passion of President Barattieri, Secretary Bianchi, Coach Ghirimoldi, and most especially thanks to the passion of nine players who insisted on setting up a proper club, with statute and officially assigned functions.
These pioneer athletes were: Sergio Brusa Pasquè, Emilio Clerici, Eligio Ferrazzi, Arialdo Giobbi, Elio and Gianni Giorgi, Tino Maggiora, Sergio Marelli, and Manlio Stabilini. With the enthusiastic support of the management team, they obtained the fundamental help of the mayor of that time, Mr. Bonfanti, who allowed them to use the Casa dello Sport for training sessions and for the games. That was the beginning of a wonderful story, which even those pioneers probably would have never imagined. However, it is thanks to their passion and strong will that Pallacanestro Varese is now celebrating its 70th anniversary. Over time, it has managed to become a major player in the world’s basketball arena and in the Italian, as well as European and worldwide, sports scenario, as a result of the outstanding achievements of the 1970’s.
From the “goal”, as the hoop was originally called in those early times, and after playing in the open and on clay courts for a long time, the modern, luminous parquet courts of the current indoor stadiums gradually took hold. Pallacanestro Varese is proud of having gone through all the stages of the evolution of Italian basketball, giving a large contribution to the success, promotion, and modernization of this wonderful sport that invariably triggers a host of emotions.
In its 70 years of history, Pallacanestro Varese has always relied on a competent and extremely passionate public, a true sixth man who has never deserted it, always supporting the team, even in its hardest times. The prize record of the Varese team is really impressive and one of the most important in Italian basketball, including championships (the first in 1961 and the last one, with the so-called Stella, in 1999), Campions Cups (as many as 5 with 10 consecutive finals), FIBA Saporta Cup, Italian Cups, Italian Supercup, Intercontinental cups, youth championships. Also, the greatest technical basketball experts have coached in Varese, while scores of champions, both Italian and foreign, made the white-and-red team and its home town famous worldwide. These triumphs sum up the history of basketball in Varese and of its wonderful public, a heritage that is also a formidable stimulus to continue with this glorious adventure, which has now consolidated its base and is looking at the future with great optimism. All this would not be possible without the constitution and development of the Consortium Varese nel Cuore and the support and passion of the sponsors that have strongly believed and continue to believe in the brand value of Pallacanestro Varese and are committed to writing other chapters of this beautiful adventure.
Happy birthday, Pallacanestro Varese!