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The Incredible Story of Sandro Gamba, an International Basketball Legend, in the Film “A Coach As Father” by Italian Director Finazzer Flory


On the evening of March 20th, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington hosted the screening of the documentary “A Coach As Father: the extraordinary story of Sandro Gamba” by Italian director Massimiliano Finazzer Flory.

The documentary portrays the life and achievements of Sandro Gamba, from the hand injury caused by a burst of bullets during the Second World War, to his career as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, one of the highest honors in the world of basketball.

“The film ‘A Coach As Father’ transcends the world of sports and offers important reflections on the strength of the relationship between a mentor and his students,” noted Deputy Chief of Mission, Minister Plenipotentiary Alessandro Gonzales, speaking at the opening of the event. “The figure of Sandro Gamba is significant not only for his resilience and determination, but also for his influence in the world of sports, and basketball in particular, not only in Italy but internationally,” he concluded.

Thanks to testimonies from Gamba himself and his players, including standout Dino Meneghin, the film reconstructs the most significant moments of his career, such as the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

The screening of the documentary, part of a three-date tour including Miami (March 19th) and New York (March 21st), was preceded by video contributions from Danilo Gallinari, one of the longest-tenured Italian players in the NBA, and Ettore Messina, an Italian assistant coach who followed in Sandro Gamba’s footsteps as his apprentice. The film was followed by a questions-and-answers session with director Massimiliano Finazzer Flory.