Alessandro "Sandro" Gamba
Alessandro Gamba has given his heart and soul to the game of basketball in his native Italy. He began playing basketball when he was 13 years old and quickly earned a spot on the Cadet team of Borletti. Gamba's early talent resided in his ability to shut down the opposition's best offensive player, a trait that would later characterize his philosophy as a coach. After his retirement as a player, Gamba spent eight seasons as an assistant under Italy's legendary head coach Cesare Rubini. In 1973, Gamba assumed the head coaching position with Ignis-Varese and before long his hardnosed, fast-paced style translated into success with the powerful club team winning the European Cup in 1975 and 1976 and Italian titles in 1974 and 1977. Gamba impressed Italian basketball officials enough to be named head coach of Italy's national team in 1980 leading his countrymen to the silver medal in the 1980 Olympics. Stressing execution and excellence, Gamba's system also led Italy to first- and second-place finishes in the European Championships in 1983 and 1991 respectively.