Basketball and Olimpia Milano in mourning: Giando Ongaro died

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Giando Ongaro passed away at the age of 81.

The basketball world and especially Olimpia Milano mourn the passing of Giando Ongaro, one of the flags of the Scarpette rosse, winner of eight championships and a Champions Cup between the 1950s and 1960s. The Milanese club itself broke the news on Saturday evening.

Giandomenico Ongaro, known as Giando, “was one of the backbones of the team,” Olimpia explained in the remembrance entrusted to its official channels, “an indispensable support of the talent of Pieri, Riminucci, Vianello, Vittori before he left, up to the youngsters of the next generation, Masini and Iellini. His first championship in Serie A was in 1957, the last in 1968.”

“His story as an athlete is also beautiful because Ongaro was an authentic product of Olimpia’s youth,” the club’s note continues, “and he went through the whole trafila until spending practically his entire career in the biancorosso. He was never quite a professional: he was one as a commitment, but then he studied, got a degree in engineering, and then started working. At the end of his career, he moved to the United States for work and stayed there for more than 20 years.”

“His connection with Olimpia never faded. When Arthur Kenney’s number 18 jersey was retired, he wanted to be there. When the club celebrated its 80th anniversary, he was there and retired the jersey personalized with the number 80. When there were important, must-win games, he was there. When Sandro Gamba’s number was retired, he was there, ‘for Sandro I will always be there,’ he added. When the playing floor was named after Cesare Rubini, Giando Ongaro was there, celebrating the only coach he had during his time at Olimpia. Giando Ongaro was born an Olimpia man and remained so all his life, until the night of Nov. 5, 2022, when he left us,” Olimpia concluded in Ongaro’s memory.

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