Cantù basketball remembers with emotion Denis Innocentin
Cantù basketball remembers Denis Innocentin
Denis Innocentin left us on January 12, 1991, not yet 30 years old due to a severe form of leukemia.
A big forward class of ’61, Innocentin wore the Cantù Basketball jersey for ten years from 1977 to 1987. President Aldo Allievi’s club picked him up from Circolo Giovanile Brugherese Basket to play in the youth sector, but before long he was added to coach Arnaldo Taurisano’s first team. A gritty defender and tireless fighter on the parquet, Innocentin was also capable of big plays on the offensive end. He took the court under the orders of such coaches as Valerio Bianchini, Giancarlo Primo, Gianni Asti and Carlo Recalcati.
Nicknamed “Lupo” by Cantù fans, he scored 2,184 points, made in 331 league appearances. In the number 4 jersey with Cantù he won: one Scudetto (1980/1981), two Champions Cups (1981/1982 and 1982/1983), one Intercontinental Cup (1982) and three Cup Winners’ Cups (1977/1978, 1978/1979 and 1980/1981). In 1987 he switched to Aurora Desio, with whom he played 29 games in the A1 series. In 1988 the terrible diagnosis and in 1991 the death.
A champion on and off the court. A sunny, kind and good-natured boy. An adopted Canturino, who was never forgotten by the city that welcomed him and loved him like a son. He would have been 62 years old next March 26.
“I remember with great affection Denis Innocentin. A very good guy, serious, intelligent and principled,” confirmed Cantù Basketball President Roberto Allievi. He was very attached to the team, to his teammates and to the city of Cantù, which was to all intents and purposes his home. Not only that, he was a great athlete, a player of quantity and quality who was instrumental in winning our third scudetto in the final against Virtus Bologna. He was also decisive in our first victory in the Champions Cup, in the Cologne final against Maccabi Tel Aviv. He left an indelible memory in our history and deserved all the gratitude of Cantù Basketball, Cantù and the Canturini. Denis left us too soon, but his example as a man and as an athlete is most relevant today and should be a lesson for all new generations..”