I want to start from the concluding paragraph that I wrote about ten months ago about Meo Sacchetti in this article on BasketUniverso, shortly after the elimination from the Olympics:
But now? We Italians are never satisfied. We won a gold medal in the 100 meters – a unique situation – and now we ask Marcell Jacobs to beat Usain Bolt’s record. Yes, but now? Now there is a European to play partially at home. Unfortunately, France will be there, but Gobert may not. Spain will lose most of the phenomena that have written the history of European basketball in the 21st century. And in Slovenia it is not certain that Luka Doncic will be there, a lot will depend on the season with Dallas. In addition we could perhaps have choice number 1, maximum number 2, in the next Draft: Paolo Banchero. Let’s say that the chances of getting to the bottom are there, but there is only one certainty at the moment: Meo Sacchetti, who will continue to make us live a dream.
Reading all of this today, it looks like it was written by an incompetent madman who doesn’t live in this world. Two days ago Meo Sacchetti was relieved of the position of coach of the national team and Paolo Banchero will almost certainly not be chosen in the first 2 positions in the NBA Draft, for now he is given to the third. Gobert and Doncic, for now, seem willing to compete in the European Championship. The only aspect that hasn’t changed is that there is Eurobasket to play partially at home.
Meo Sacchetti’s exemption
Let’s go back to current events. A couple of days ago the FIP announced that Meo Sacchetti will no longer train the national team due to differences with the President of the Federation, Giovanni Petrucci, according to what has been written by various authoritative sources. Naturally this news has destabilized the whole Italian basketball scene, because on September 1st the European Championship will begin which, we repeat, in the initial phase will be played at home, at the Mediolanum Forum in Assago. The substitute’s name circulated immediately and this morning was made official: Gianmarco Pozzecco.
A historical and hardly repeatable path
However, Meo Sacchetti will remain in the history of our basketball. First he managed to bring Italy back to play a World Cup 12 years after the last time. Then – above all – it meant that we retrained for an Olympics, an event that hadn’t happened for 17 very long years.
The Olympic ride was even more exciting because at the Pre-Olympic we managed to eliminate one of the favorites to win the Olympics, namely Serbia, in front of its audience. And then in Tokyo we went so far from reaching the semifinals. Only Rudy Gobert and the other French giants – mainly NBA – did not allow us to advance. We in the NBA only had Danilo Gallinari, who had just returned from a troubled season, and Nicolò Melli, who had already signed up for his return to Olimpia.
Meo Sacchetti’s masterpiece was to reconstruct an almost totally new group around young boys (Alessandro Pajola and Nico Mannion above all), putting them alongside others who had recently blossomed in the European panorama (Achille Polonara, Simone Fontecchio and Stefano Tonut, fresh MVP of the LBA regular season and today ready to sign with Olimpia).
Thanks again Meo!
Now we just have to thank Meo Sacchetti again for the joys he made us try, and wish us a big good luck at the Poz. Of course, we all would have liked to have seen Meo coach Italy for the European Championship at home. We would have loved it enormously, simply because he deserved it. So we knew that that would be the final stop of Sacchetti’s long blue race, which began in 1977, 45 years ago. Surely he would have deserved a different ending, with more respect for his figure.
In our small, Meo, we want to tell you thank you. Because who knows when it will happen again to experience emotions like the ones we felt watching the demonstrations in China and Japan. Or in France in 1983. Or, again, in Moscow in 1980, with an Olympic silver around the neck.
Born in 1996. Collaborator for BasketUniverso since March 31, 2014. Graduated in Humanities for Communication at the State University of Milan. In love with sports and his stories, with a predilection for basketball and football.
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