NBA star plans basketball revamp in Milan

Gallinari joins city hall for boost to backetball grounds.

Local born NBA star Danilo “Gallo” Gallinari has joined Milan’s city administration in a programme of restyling of local basketball courts, attracting also private donors.

Starting with the grounds in the Marinai d’Italia park, the scheme – called “We Playground Together” – will involve completely repaving the area, renewing the spectator seating and the hoops, backboards and scoreboards.

The project will move across the city, rejuvenating many local courts, some of which are in such poor condition that they have fallen into disuse. It also provides for two years of maintenance once the courts are reopened for local youngsters.

Presenting “We Playground Together” to the media, city councillor Roberta Guaineri underlined the civic value of local sport for the integration of young players of different cultures.

Gallinari said the restyling programme was to last at least three years. He said the NBA sponsored programmes like this across the world: he had recently launched one in Vietnam, and was soon to visit South Africa with a similar plan.

Born in S. Angelo Lodigiano, just 40 km south of Milan, Gallinari started playing professionally in 2004. After successes in the EuroLeague, he was acquired by the New York Knicks in 2008.  Following a five-year contract with the Denver Nuggets, he joined the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007.