Surrounded by reporters during Michigan basketball’s media day, associate head coach Phil Martelli fielded questions that had the same general premise: Why did he, a bona fide coaching legend who spent the past 24 years as the head coach at St. Joseph’s before being fired last spring, become an assistant under first-year Michigan coach Juwan Howard...

It’s time the world learned the story of basketball’s great pioneer Angelo “Hank” Luisetti, the man who fought the establishment and changed basketball’s genetic footprint. Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891; Hank Luisetti reinvented it in 1936. Hank Luisetti grew up in the same San Francisco neighborhood as his contemporary Joe DiMaggi...

Nicolo Melli already had his flight booked to the Bahamas when he found out he needed to tweak those plans. As the Pelicans wrapped up their final shootaround before the All-Star break Thursday, executive vice president David Griffin informed the Italian forward he’d been chosen as an injury replacement in the Rising Stars Game. At first, Melli tho...

GUCCI GETS IN THE GAME: With a psychedelic-looking GG basketball, a West Loop pop-up shop and even a Gucci-themed pin showing up on Google Maps, Gucci is all set to kick off the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago on Friday. Located at 160 North Morgan Street, the pop-up will feature the Italian fashion house’s rainbow-colored GG Psychedelic Collection...

This season is all about Gianmarco Arletti, and what happened Thursday night in the Holy Cross Prep Academy gym was proof. Arletti’s wide-open 3-pointer just before the buzzer lifted the Lancers to perhaps their biggest win of the year; a 47-46 triumph over Burlington City in their Burlington County Scholastic League Freedom Division contest. Next...

Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey was hoisted to the rafters of the arena in Italy where his father, Joe, played after he retired from the NBA and moved his family to Europe in the 1980s. The central Italian city of Rieti became the Bryant family’s first Italian home when Joe Bryant signed for the local team AMG Sebastiani Rieti in 1984, when six-year-ol...

In Europe where Kobe Bryant grew up, the retired NBA star was being remembered for his “Italian qualities.” “All of the NBA players are important, because they’re legends, but he’s particularly important to us because he knew Italy so well, having lived in several cities here,” Italian basketball federation president Giovanni Petrucci told The Asso...

Dick Vitale has been honored with awards with sports announcers (Curt Gowdy and Keith Jackson) in their titles, a coach (John Wooden) and a clown who pitched hamburgers (Ronald McDonald). He’s in 14 halls of fame, one devoted to ethnicity (National Italian Sports Hall of Fame), four city specific (Elmwood Park and East Rutherford, New Jersey, Saras...

As one of the players moved in the infamous Paul George deal, Danilo Gallinari has yet to find a long-term home in the NBA. Stints in New York, Denver, Los Angeles, and (now) Oklahoma City, it seems Galo has always been used as a pawn for teams to acquire someone better than him. This season, however, the tables have turned. Galo makes for a valuab...

When Nicolo Melli decided to make the jump from the EuroLeague to the NBA this summer, it did not take long to see just how athletic the players in the world’s best basketball league were. The Pelicans had a pair of 19-year-old rookies in Jaxson Hayes and Zion Williamson who could both jump out of the gym. “They’re different,” Melli said. “They’re...