“I am a child of two teachers elementary school, the figure of the teacher is close to my heart. In the basketball more teachers and fewer coaches would be needed, not only in the youth sectors”. Stefano “Pino” Sacripanti was born in 1970 in the basketball city of Cantù, where he began to train the youth formations already as a teenager. In 2000, he became head coach and was elected two years later best coach of Serie A. In 2003 he won the Super cup Italian. He was head coach of the Under 20 national team for several seasons, with experience as deputy of Hector Messina in the major one. After having also coached Pesaro, CasertaAvellino, Bologna and Naples, from 2023 it is a Get ready in A1, club that has just led to salvation. “Papà Luigi, who has been gone since 2020, had met mum Manuela right at the school in via De Gasperi in Cantù. Yes. I am married and my brother Sergio and I were born, who among other things attended the elementary school where my parents worked”.
Were they also basketball fans?
“Dad was. He worked hard together with Arnaldo Taurisano, who was the true professional of the two, in women’s and youth basketball ”.
What did they pass on to her?
“The desire to teach and train. Teaching is not just imparting notions, but accompanying the pupils step by step, with the boy who must be the protagonist of his own actions. Learning means being involved in what you do”.
The most important school you’ve ever had?
“The Cantù basketball of the Allievi family. My teachers have been instructors such as Erasmo Nocco, Fabrizio Frates, Gianni Lambruschi, Massimo Canali. A school that put sport before the result and therefore: respect for the rules, respect for others, respect for opponents and for the place where you train”.
How do you become a coach?
“Already at 16 trying to give young people the stamp of Cantù basketball. Frates and Lambruschi take me aside and tell me: you understand basketball, but you don’t have the physical means to continue as a player. I reluctantly agreed with them, but I gladly accepted what was the only possibility to continue with this wonderful sport”.
What did you teach kids a little younger than you?
“The rules of Cantù basketball. Work and meritocracy in the field. Basketball is a game, but it must be played seriously, not superficially”.
Does the youth sector remain a passion of yours, despite many years in the first team?
“Yes, the twelve years in the national team were wonderful. Handing the kids over to the pros, showing them your passion for basketball, is great. I wouldn’t have time today to work in the youth sectors, but in the summer I go to see the kids and do specialization camping”.
Can players also learn as adults?
“Certainly, even if you’re a former NBA player.”
Ron Artest arrived in 2015 in Cantù, with the Lakers he had already won a title.
“An absolute professional, obsessive in taking care of his body and during training. They told me it would be difficult to manage, yet it was great with me. An honor to have coached him, for me it was an enrichment. Coaches can learn from players about basketball: a new mental approach or a new movement. Their imagination often surpasses our mentality or our notions”.
Other men she learned from?
“Marzorati: he played, studied the game and was the capopopolo in Cantù. Antonello Riva for the dedication and attention to detail. Beyond friendship, Frates taught me the first fundamentals, Mario De Sisti was a genius in the youth national teams, also for his ability to take risks. My entire generation owes something to Ettore Messina. Carlo Recalcati a point of reference in player management: man comes before the rules and what comes naturally to him shouldn’t be taken away from the player”
How is Italian basketball doing today?
“He struggles a bit also due to general economic problems. It must be understood that the wealth is in the youth sectors, everything is born here: players, referees, managers, enthusiasts. But a joint commitment of the clubs, the Federation and the League is needed”.