Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Italy and our basketball tradition is famous across the world. Two European gold medals (1983, 1999) and two Olympic silver medals (1980, 2004) are the most important achievements earned by the Italian men’s basketball team. You probably will know some of the best current Italian players like Danilo Gallinari and Marco Belinelli, both considered NBA veterans.
Based on tactics and technical skills, the Italian basketball coaching school is well-known because of the sophisticated and detail-oriented style. Kobe Byrant, who grew up in Italy, said that his Italian basketball experience has been one of the factors that contributed to him being widely considered as one of the greatest.
“It gave me a huge advantage actually because when I grew up playing overseas, I was learning the fundamentals of the game. I wasn’t learning the between-the-legs, behind-the-back stuff. I was learning just tactical things like moving without the ball or making the fundamentally sound passes, left hand, right hand. How to use the angle on the bank shot. How to hide behind screens – just all the tactical things. We would have been lucky to scrimmage and play once a week. We’d be really lucky to do that.” (Kobe Bryant)
Over the last decade some Italian excellent coaches have been starting to bring their skills overseas:
in 2011-2012 season Ettore Messina joined Mike Brown’s coaching staff for the Los Angeles Lakers and from 2014 to 2019 he was an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. Another great Italian coach, Sergio Scariolo, won the NBA title as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors in 2019.
Also, many American and International players have acknowledged that their experience in Italy has been fundamental in their in court but also off court life. Mike D’Antoni, the Houston Rockets head coach, said: “I became a man in Italy. That’s the land where I met my wife and where my son was born. I spent the most beautiful 21 years of my life in Italy”.
By attending OMI master’s program you will have the opportunity to meet our Professor Marco Bonamico, a legend of Italian basketball. His career on the court was amazing and it also includes the achievement of one Olympic silver medal, one European gold medal, two Italian Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia titles.