The Italians Are Coming! … to Chicago’s United Center on October 1st and then to Madison Square Garden in October 4th

May 21, 2015 1646

On Thursday, October 1st at 7:00 PM, Italian basketball powerhouse EA7 Emporio Armani Olimpia Milano, from Chicago's sister-city Milan, will face-off against Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv at the United Center in the first leg of the inaugural Euro Classic Tournament. On Sunday, October 4th at 12:30 PM, EA7 Emporio Armani Oilmpia Milano and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv will play at Madison Square Garden in the second leg of the inaugural Euro Classic Tournament.

For the very first time, European-style basketball in its purest form will be on display at the in Chicago's own United Center, when the most successful team in Italian Basketball history EA7 Emporium Armani Olimpia Milano hosts the most successful team in Israel, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. The Euro Classic Tournament will then entertain fans in The Big Apple when they travel to New York to play the second leg of the inaugural tournament in Madison Square Garden.

Olimpia Milano has been an incredible story of success since its founding in 1936, and as it inaugurates its octogenarian anniversary this season, it is launching the Euro Classic, a tournament 80 years in the making. The Euro Classic will be a great opportunity to showcase the high quality playing-style of the best European teams in the birthplace of basketball. It will be a great opportunity for the Italian community and the Hebrew community to attend a game played in an Old World atmosphere with all the fan-thusiasm© and excitement, all on display in the brave new world of an NBA arena. From the entertainment of the fans displaying their team's colors, everything will be like watching a championship-caliber basketball game back home, but on the biggest stage in the world. What makes the event even more spectacular is that the opposing teams are two of the most successful in International basketball history as demonstrated by their having won a total of 9 European titles combined.

The Story of Olimpia Milano: "Le Scarpette Rosse" ("The Red Shoes")
Olimpia Milano, which has been owned by fashion icon Giorgio Armani since 2008, is the most successful team in the history of Italian basketball. It has won the Italian championship 26 times, has won the European title 3 times, and has won 8 additional prestigious, international tournaments. Olimpia Milano has always reaffirmed its excellence as the most successful team in Italian basketball history by developing the best Italian players, who take pride in wearing Olimpia Milano's signature "scarpette rosse," (red shoes). This year's team features team captain, Alessandro Gentile, the youngest M.V.P. in the history of Italian basketball, and point and shooting guard and prior M.V.P., Daniel Hackett. Olimpia Milano has always been steeped in class, innovation, courage and spirit. It's the most widely-followed team in Italy, with an average of 9,000 fans attending its home games. Every home game is broadcast live on National TV.

The Story of Maccabi Tel Aviv:
Maccabi Tel Aviv has always been the symbol of Israeli sports, a team which is synonymous with the nation of Israel, having won 51 national championships in 60 seasons, starting in 1954. The club has always been an International powerhouse, mixing the best Israeli players with the best American players. Maccabi's history is a history of excellence. In 2004 and 2005 the team was able to repeat and win back-to-back European titles. In its history, it won six European championships, while participating in 15 finals and winning 41 national cup tournaments. Maccabi was the first International team to defeat an NBA team back in 1978 in Tel Aviv, and then the first team to defeat an NBA team on its home court in 2005. It has played 22 games against NBA teams in the United States. The club has recently opened an office in New York City to sustain the interest and support for the team from the Hebrew-American community.

Olimpia Milano and the U.S.A.
For Olimpia Milano, inaugurating the Euro Classic is in character with its long and storied history. In 1987 Olimpia took part in the first official competition between an NBA and a European team, held in Milwaukee. No club outside the NBA has more representatives in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield: Coaches Cesare Rubini and Sandro Gamba, and players Dino Meneghin, Senator Bill Bradley and Bob McAdoo. The list of great players in America who used to play for Olimpia is impressive and also includes Mike D'Antoni (whose number 8 jersey has been retired), Danilo Gallinari, John Gianelli, Albert King, Rolando Blackman, Joe Barry Carroll, Skip Thoren, and Antoine Carr.

All-Stars and Stripes
David Moss, an alumnus of Thornwood High School in South Holland, Illinois, will be wearing the "Scarpette Rosse" and the white and red colors of Olimpia Milano- the same colors of his hometown Chicago Bulls. With his family and friends alone, the game at the United Center might be sold-out!

Frank Elegar, St. Raymond's High School (Bronx) Alumnus, will be coming back to New York, and looking forward to playing before his family and friends in "The Big Apple", in "The World's Most Famous Arena," Madison Square Garden.
Daniel Hackett, son of Mt. Vernon High School and Syracuse All-Star Rudy Hackett, will be playing before his American family and demonstrating the skills that made him an All-Italy M.V.P. selection.

Nicolo' Melli, son Julie Jo Vollersten of the U.S.A. Women's Olympic volleyball silver-medal team in Los Angeles in 1984, will be visiting NYC, his second-favorite city after Milano.

Individual tickets: may be obtained via or call 800-745-3000.

EA7 Olimpia Milano website:

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