Virtus Bologna

Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, known for sponsorship reasons as Virtus Segafredo Bologna,[1][2] is an Italian professional basketball club based in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna.

Virtus Bologna
2020–21 Virtus Bologna season
Virtus Bologna logo.svg
NicknameVu Nere (Black V)
LeaguesLBA
EuroCup
Founded1929; 92 years ago (1929)
HistoryVirtus Pallacanestro Bologna
1929–present
ArenaSegafredo Arena
Capacity10,000
LocationBologna, Italy
Team colorsWhite, black
   
Main sponsorSegafredo Zanetti
CEOLuca Baraldi
PresidentGiuseppe Sermasi
Head coachSergio Scariolo
Team captainGiampaolo Ricci
OwnershipMassimo Zanetti[a]
Championships2 EuroLeague
1 Saporta Cup
1 Champions League
1 EuroChallenge
16 Italian Championships
8 Italian Cups
1 Italian Supercup
1 Serie A2 Basket
1 Italian LNP Cup
Retired numbers3 (4, 5, 10)
Websitevirtus.it

The club was founded in 1929, which makes it the oldest club in Italy and one of the oldest ones in Europe. Virtus is the second most titled basketball club in Italy after Olimpia Milano, having won 16 Italian national championships, 8 Italian National Cups and 1 Italian Supercup. Moreover, it is one of the most successful teams in Europe, having won two EuroLeagues, one FIBA Saporta Cup and one Basketball Champions League.[3] It currently plays in the Italian first division LBA as well as in the EuroCup. The club is owned by the coffee entrepreneur Massimo Zanetti.[4]

Some of the club's star players over the years have included: Tom McMillen, Renato Villalta, Jim McMillian, Krešimir Ćosić, Micheal Ray Richardson, Roberto Brunamonti, Jure Zdovc, Predrag Danilović, Cliff Levingston, Arijan Komazec, Orlando Woolridge, Zoran Savić, Bane Prelević, Radoslav Nesterović, Antoine Rigaudeau, Hugo Sconochini, Marko Jarić, Manu Ginóbili, Matjaž Smodiš, Travis Best, Keith Langford and Miloš Teodosić. While some of the club's greatest coaches had been: Vittorio Tracuzzi, Dan Peterson, Terry Driscoll, Alberto Bucci, Ettore Messina and Aleksandar Đorđević.

HistoryEdit

1929–1956: Beginnings and post-war dynastyEdit

Virtus was founded in 1871 as a gymnastics club, forming its first professional basketball team in 1929 as part of a multi sports club. The club's motto was Forte Franco Fermo Fiero ("Strong Frank Firm Proud") and was inserted in the logo under the Black V, with a cross made by four F;[5] the motto is still used by Virtus today.[6] The team's home court was the former church of Santa Lucia in the city center, which could host a few hundred people.[7]

 
Virtus team in 1945–46 season

The first official championship of Virtus dates back to 1934, the year in which the Bolognese team won the first division tournament, obtaining the promotion in the top tournament after a hard-fought group of playoffs against Unione Sportiva of Milan and Ginnastica Rome. Team's captain was Venzo Vannini, while other important players were Giuseppe Palmieri and Giancarlo Marinelli. After the promotion, Virtus settled permanently at the top of the national basketball league, and achieved a long series of honorable placings: in the nine championships disputed from 1935 to the outbreak of the Second World War, the Black V collected 6 second places, 2 third places, and a sixth place, however Virtus never achieved to win a national title.

From 1943 to 1945, the championship was suspended due to the outbreak of the war in the country and the beginning of the civil war.[8] At the end of the world war, Santa Lucia was no longer available for basketball games and after a brief period of outdoor matches on a field in Via del Ravone, the team moved to Sala Borsa, the city's stock exchange, readjusted in the evening for basketball matches. This unusual venue became the hallmark of a new Italian basketball season, compared to the worldwide famous Boston Garden.[9] In July 1945, Virtus, led by Achille Canna, Luigi Rapini and Antonio Calebotta, won its first national Serie A title, defeating 35–31 Reyer Venezia in the final.[10]

In the following season, Renzo Poluzzi became the new head coach and led Virtus to its second championship.[11] Under Poluzzi, Virtus won the title again in 1948 and 1949, achieving the so-called "four-peat".[12] In 1949–50 season, the Black V arrived second after Olimpia Milano; during these years, the long-time rivalry with Olimpia, known as "derby of Italy", began.[13] Olimpia won the title for the next four years too, while the Black V placed second in 1952 and 1953. In 1954, Vittorio Tracuzzi was appointed new head coach; Tracuzzi was a Virtus player too, acting as a "player-coach". At the end of the season, Tracuzzi led Virtus to its fifth national title. The team doubled the next season, achieving a so-called "back-to-back". During the 1950s the first derbies were played against Gira and Moto Morini, the other two teams of Bologna.[14]

Due to the increasing fame of Virtus, the Sala Borsa was no longer suitable for hosting games; so in 1956, the long-time Mayor of Bologna, Giuseppe Dozza, inaugurated a new arena, which was simply known as "Sports Hall" and had a seating capacity of more than 7,000 people.[15] The arena was later nicknamed Il Madison, after New York's Madison Square Garden and, in 1966, after Dozza's retirement from politics, it was renamed "PalaDozza". From 1956 to 1960, Virtus placed second, always behind its arch-rival Olimpia Milan. At the end of the 1959–60 season, Tracuzzi left Virtus after having won two championships in five seasons, with a winning record of 108–22, being widely considered one of Black V's greatest coaches of all time.[16]

1960–1968: Post-dynasty strugglesEdit

In 1960, the Spanish coach, Eduardo Kucharski, succeeded Tracuzzi at the head of the team.[17] Virtus, led by its best player Gianfranco Lombardi, took part in its first European Champions Cup, but it was ousted by CCA Bucarest in the second round. At the end of the Italian regular season, the Black V placed second again, behind Ignis Varese.[18]

In 1962 and 1963 Virtus arrived third and Kucharski was sacked, while Mario Alesini, a former Virtus player, became the new head coach.[19] However, in the next three seasons, Alesini did not reach to bring back the title to Bologna. In 1966, Jaroslav Šíp was hired as new head coach, but Virtus never became a real contender for the championship, with Olimpia and Ignis which alternatively won the title until 1968.[20]

1968–1991: The Porelli eraEdit

 
Gianluigi Porelli, president and manager for 23 years

The 1960s had been an unfortunate decade for Virtus. The turning point occurred in 1968, when the lawyer Gianluigi Porelli was appointed by the then president of the multi-sport club, Giovanni Elkan, at the head of the basketball section.[21] Alternately nicknamed "Torquemada" or "Robespierre" for his quick and often dictatorial methods, or, more frequently, L'Avvocato ("The Lawyer"), Porelli has been one of the most prominent figures in the history of Virtus which, through initiatives often unpopular but almost always winning, definitively carried towards professionalism.[22]

1968–1973: RebuildingEdit

As soon as he arrived, at only 38 years old, Porelli sacked coach Šíp and appointed Renzo Ranuzzi, a former player. However, Ranuzzi lasted one year only, due to the poor result of the team, which ended the season at the 10th place. After another poor result in the 1969–70 season under coach Nello Paratore, in 1970, Porelli hired Black V's legendary coach Vittorio Tracuzzi and sold the best player of the time, Gianfranco Lombardi, unleashing a popular uprising that even ended up in court. Despite Tracuzzi's comeback, the team placed 10th once again.[23] In 1970, thanks to Porelli, Virtus was also one of the main proponents and founders of the Lega Basket, the governing body of the top-tier level professional Italian basketball league.[24]

In the same year, Virtus broke away from the multi sports club, becoming a joint-stock company. Thanks to this choice, which was highly criticised at the time, Porelli definitively healed the club's finances. In 1971, Porelli hired the American player John Fultz who, supported by important Italian players like Gianni Bertolotti and Luigi Serafini, succeeded in placing the team 5th in the national championship, the best result since 1967–68. In the following season, the team, composed by the same players and coached by Nico Messina, arrived 6th.[25]

1973–1978: Peterson's revolutionEdit

In 1973, Porelli opened a new season of triumphs, thanks to a partnership with Sinudyne, a famous Italian domestic appliances company, and especially with the engagement of the young American coach Dan Peterson, coming from the Chile's national basketball team.[26] Virtus immediately won its first Italian Cup in 1973–74 season, which was club's first title since 1955–56.

 
Dan Peterson celebrating the 1976 championship

In the following season, Virtus signed Tom McMillen, a 22-years-old player from Maryland University, who was selected with the 9th overall pick by the Buffalo Braves during the 1974 NBA draft. He signed with the Braves but postponed his entry into the NBA in order to attend the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. McMillen lived and studied in the UK, but he moved to Bologna during the weekends to play basketball.[27] At the end of the season, characterized by outstanding performances by McMillen, the team placed 4th in the national championship and was eliminated at the quarterfinals of the European Cup Winners' Cup.[28]

In 1975, McMillen started his career in the NBA, so Porelli and Peterson signed Terry Driscoll, a former NBA player and 4th overall pick in 1969 draft.[29] Thanks to Driscoll's leadership and the fundamental support of Italian players like Carlo Caglieris, Gianni Bertolotti, Marco Bonamico and Luigi Serafini, Virtus won its seventh national championship, the first one after twenty years.[30][31]

In 1976–77, Virtus ended first in the regular season, however it lost the championship finals against Varese, by 2–0. In the following season, the Black V succeeded in reaching the national finals, but nonetheless it lost 2–1 against Varese again.[32] The team also reached the final of the Cup Winner's Cup, but lost 84–82 against Gabetti Cantù.[33]

In 1978, after two consecutive second places, coach Peterson left the Black V to sign with Virtus historic rival, Olimpia Milan. This move was heavily criticised by Black V's fans, but it was approved by Porelli himself.[34] However, despite the controversies which rose around his farewell, Peterson's legacy was huge: the American coach deeply changed the team's organization and contributed in bringing back Virtus to the top of Italian basketball after twenty years of struggles.[35]

1978–1980: Driscoll's back-to-backEdit

After Peterson's departure, Terry Driscoll was appointed new head coach. Porelli signed also Krešimir Ćosić, one of the best centers in Europe; the team was also composed by great Italian players as Renato Villalta, Carlo Caglieris and the captain Gianni Bertolotti. In the national finals, Virtus faced its former coach, Dan Peterson and his new team, Olimpia. Despite the great expectations around a hard-fought final, the Black V easily won the title in only two games.[36] The team also reached the semifinals of the Cup Winners' Cup, where it was eliminated for only one point by the Dutch EBBC.[33]

In the following season, Porelli signed Jim McMillian, a 1972 NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers.[37] McMillian, who was immediately nicknamed by Virtus fans as Il Duca Nero ("The Black Duke"),[38] led the team achieving a back-to-back, winning its ninth titles against Cantù.[39] The team took part also in the European Champions Cup, where it was eliminated in the semifinals group stage.[40]

At the end of the season, Driscoll asked for a renegotiation of his contract, but Porelli did not accept it and fired the American coach, despite the great successes achieved in only two years.[41]

1980–1988: Champions Cup Final and 10th titleEdit

 
Alberto Bucci and Elvis Rolle, after the 1984 title

At the beginning of the 1980–81 season, Driscoll's assistant, Ettore Zuccheri, became the new head coach, but he was later replaced by Renzo Ranuzzi. The team reached once again the national finals, but it slightly lost the playoff series by 2–1 against Cantù. Returning to the top in Italy, the Black V attempted to become a major team in Europe too, and in 1981, Virtus reached the final of the FIBA European Champions Cup in Strasbourg. However, they lost by only one point against Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, after a very contested game and dubious referees' choices.[42]

After the defeat in the Cup, Porelli sacked Ranuzzi and hired coach Aleksandar Nikolić, worldwide known as "The Professor". The team was composed also by young and talented Italian players like Roberto Brunamonti and Augusto Binelli, as well as important foreign players, like the Bahamian center Elvis Rolle.[43] Despite his fame, Nikolić did not succeed in bringing Virtus back to title, so in 1983, after the brief experiences of George Bisacca and Mauro Di Vincenzo, the 35 years-old Alberto Bucci, from Bologna, became the new head coach. In the same years, the club signed a deal with Granarolo, a milk and dairy production company, which became the new team's sponsor.[44] Virtus ended the regular season second, after Peterson's Olimpia. The two teams faced themselves in a historic final, always remembered as one of the best in Italian basketball history, in which Virtus defeated Olimpia by 2–1, reaching its 10th national title, also known as La Stella ("The Star"), due to the star which is attributed to teams that manage to win ten national championships.[45] In the same year, the team completed a domestic double by adding a National Cup.[46]

In 1984–85, Virtus reached the semifinal group stage of the Champions Cup, where, however, it was eliminated.[47] After a defeat in the playoffs' quarterfinals against Olimpia, Bucci was sacked and Sandro Gamba became the new coach. Gamba, one of the most successful Italian coaches of all time, did not succeed in winning with Virtus too, exiting in the first round of 1986 playoffs and being eliminated in the quarterfinals of 1987 playoffs.[48] In 1988, Krešimir Ćosić, a former Virtus star, replaced Gamba. Despite the head coach's change, the team continued collecting poor successes, being ousted in the Korać Cup's quarterfinals and in the first round of national playoffs.[49]

1988–1991: The "Sugar-mania"Edit

 
Micheal Ray Richardson, the protagonist of "Sugar-mania", which involved Bologna in the late 1980s

In 1988, Porelli hired Bob Hill, who was New York Knicks' head coach until the previous season. Hill brought in Italy two former NBA players: Micheal Ray Richardson, a NBA All-Star and former player for the Knicks and New Jersey Nets, who was banned from the NBA for violations of league's drug policy,[50] and Clemon Johnson, 1983 NBA champion with the Philadelphia 76ers, who also played for the Indiana Pacers and Seattle SuperSonics.[51] At the beginning of the season, Porelli reached an agreement with Knorr, a German food and beverage brand, which became the team's sponsor.[52] In 1988–89 Virtus won its third Italian Cup, but it was defeated in the semifinals for the national championship against Enichem Livorno, coached by Bucci.[53]

Despite the playoffs' elimination, the season was considered a rebirth for Virtus: the national cup was the team's first trophy since 1984 and the great performances of Richardson had brought back the passion for basketball in the city. This period became known as "Sugar-mania", from Richardson's historic nickname.[54][55]

In the following summer, Hill surprisingly resigned from his post and his assistant, the 30 years-old Ettore Messina, was appointed new head coach.[56] The Black V won the Italian Cup again and on 13 March 1990 won its first European title, the FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup, the second-tier level European-wide competition, defeating 79–74 the Real Madrid coached by George Karl. The final was characterized by an outstanding performance of Richardson, able of scoring 29 points.[57] However, the team was once again eliminated in national playoffs' quarterfinals against Phonola Caserta.[58]

In 1990–91, Virtus placed third in the regular season but it was once again eliminated in the national semifinals by Caserta.[59] At the end of the season, Richardson was not confirmed and signed for Slobodna Dalmacija, putting an end to a three-year period in which he brought Virtus to win its first European trophy and laid the foundations for club's successes in the following years.[60]

In 1991, after two years of internal struggles within the shareholders' assembly, during which he also briefly lost the control of the society,[61] Porelli sold Virtus to Alfredo Cazzola, a local trade fair entrepreneur.[62] During 23 years of tenure, Porelli won four national titles, four Italian Cups and one Cup Winner's Cup, transforming a simple basketball section of a sports club into one of the richest and most successful teams in Europe.[63][64]

1991–2000: The Cazzola eraEdit

As president, Cazzola brought to Virtus an entrepreneurial mentality, which would be necessary in the team's future growth. In the 1991–92 season, the Black V, led by captain Brunamonti and Jure Zdovc, reached the national semifinals, but lost against Scavolini Pesaro, which had already eliminated Virtus in the national cup few months before. The team also lost against Partizan in the FIBA European League quarterfinals.[65]

1992–1995: Danilović's three-peatEdit

 
Predrag Danilović in 1995. He is considered the greatest player in the history of Virtus

In the summer of 1992, Cazzola signed Predrag Danilović, a young Yugoslav player who won the latest FIBA European League with Partizan. Under the strong leadership of Danilović and the important support of Brunamonti, Claudio Coldebella, Paolo Moretti, Augusto Binelli and Bill Wennington, the team, coached by Ettore Messina, won its eleventh national championship, defeating 3–0 the Benetton Treviso.[66] However the team was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the FIBA European League by Real Madrid Teka.

In the following season, Messina became the new coach of Italy's national basketball team and Alberto Bucci, returned to coach Virtus, with whom he had won a national championship in 1984. The team was completed with Cliff Levingston, two-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls.[67] In the same year, Cazzola signed a deal with Buckler Beer, a brand of Heineken, which became the new sponsor of the team.[68] In October 1993, Virtus took part to the McDonald's Open in Munich, where it arrived second, after the Phoenix Suns.[69] In May 1994, Virtus won its second consecutive national title, defeating 3–2 Scavolini Pesaro, after a very contested final. Once again, the Black V was ousted during the FIBA European League quarterfinals by Olympiacos.[70]

In the 1994–95 season, Joe Binion replaced Levingston, while the rest of the team remained untouched. In May 1995, Virtus won its 13th title, defeating 3–0 Benetton Treviso, accomplishing a so-called "three-peat".[71] However, for the third consecutive times, the team which dominated the Italian league was eliminated at the FIBA European League quarterfinals, this time by Panathinaikos.[72]

1995–1997: Transition years and Brunamonti's retirementEdit

After the three-peat, Danilović left Virtus for the Miami Heat. Cazzola signed Arijan Komazec, a Croatian guard-forward, and Orlando Woolridge, a long-time NBA player; while young Italian players like Alessandro Abbio became increasingly important. In September 1995, Virtus won its first Italian Supercup against Benetton Treviso;[73] while in October, the Black V participated in the McDonald's Championship, arriving second after the Houston Rockets. The team ended the regular season in first place, but he was eventually eliminated by Stefanel Milano in the playoffs' semifinals. Moreover, the team did not succeed in passing the second group stage of the Champions Cup.[74]

In 1996, captain Roberto Brunamonti retired from basketball after 14 seasons as a Virtus player.[75] During the summer, the club signed important international players like Zoran Savić from Real Madrid Teka and Branislav Prelević from PAOK. Moreover, Kinder, a product brand line of Italian confectionery multinational Ferrero SpA, became the new sponsor of Virtus.[76] On 8 March 1997, coach Bucci was replaced by Lino Frattin, who after a few days, won Black V's fifth Italian Cup against Cantù.[77] The team was eliminated by Stefanel Milano in the Top 16 of the FIBA EuroLeague, the former Champions Cup.[78] In the national playoffs, Virtus was eliminated in the semifinals by the other Bologna's team, Teamsystem, which, after years of poor results, was becoming increasingly competitive.[79]

1997–2000: Danilović's comeback and the first EuroLeagueEdit

 
The 1997–98 team after the EuroLeague victory in Barcelona

In 1997, Roberto Brunamonti became team's general manager,[80] while coach Messina and Sasha Danilović returned to Virtus and the team was completed with important international players like Radoslav Nesterovič, Antoine Rigaudeau, Hugo Sconochini and Alessandro Frosini, as well as with the confirmation of Zoran Savić and Alessandro Abbio.[81] In the same year, the club moved to PalaMalaguti, an indoor sporting arena in Casalecchio di Reno with a seating capacity of more than 8,000 people, leaving PalaDozza after almost 40 years.[82]

On 23 April 1998, Virtus won its first EuroLeague, defeating 58–44 AEK in Barcelona, with Savić elected MVP of the Final Four.[46] While on 31 May, Virtus conquered its 14th national title, defeating in Game 5 of the final, Teamsystem Bologna. At twenty seconds from the end of the game, with Fortitudo leading by 4, Danilović scored a three-point shot and at the same time suffered a foul by Dominique Wilkins, completing the so-called "four-point shot".[83] Then Virtus won the match in the overtime. The 1998 final between Virtus and Fortiudo is widely considered as the greatest one in the history of Italian basketball, with two teams from the same city, which were among the best ones in the continent.[84] During this period, Bologna was nicknamed "Basket City", due to the fame and the victories of town's two teams.[85]

In the following season, Virtus won its 7th Italian Cup in January 1999. The team also defeated Fortitudo 57–62 in a historic EuroLeague's semifinal in Munich, but it lost 82–74 in the final against Žalgiris of Tyus Edney and was eliminated in the semifinals for the national championship by Treviso.[86] In 1999–2000 season, the Black V lost the Italian Cup final against Treviso and was defeated 83–76 by AEK, in the FIBA Saporta Cup's final in Lausanne.[87] Moreover, Virtus was once again eliminated by Treviso, in the semifinals for the national championship.[88]

In May 2000, Cazzola sold Virtus to Marco Madrigali, a video game entrepreneur, who became the new president of the club.[89] Under Cazzola's presidency, Virtus lived a period which became known as its "Golden Age", in which the Black V won four national titles, two Italian Cups and a EuroLeague, becoming one of the most notable and successful teams in Europe.[90]

2000–2003: The Madrigali eraEdit

2000–2002: Ginóbili's boom and the second EuroLeagueEdit

 
Virtus in 2000–01 season. The team which was able to win the Triple Crown

In the 2000–01 season, Madrigali and Brunamonti signed important players, like Marko Jarić, Manu Ginóbili, Matjaž Smodiš, Rashard Griffith and David Andersen; while at the beginning of the season, Sasha Danilović suddenly announced his retirement from basketball.[91] The absence of a strong leader like Danilović and the subsequent ban for doping of another historic player like Hugo Sconochini, forced every single player of the team to take more responsibility, but at the same time opened spaces to the immature and talented newcomers, free to show their abilities and experience at a high level.

After a tough beginning, the season had a turning point during the Christmas derby against Fortitudo, which was soundly won by the Black V by 99–62. From then, Virtus started an outstanding season, characterized by an unrepeatable group capable of beating every record and becoming one of the strongest European teams of all time and, according to many, the strongest ever.[92][93] On 28 April 2001, Virtus won its seventh Italian Cup against Pesaro,[94] while on 10 May, the Black V won its second EuroLeague, defeating 3–2 Tau Cerámica, in the first and only series in the history of EuroLeague finals. Manu Ginóbili was elected Finals MVP.[95] On 19 June, Virtus won its 15th national championship, beating Paf Wennington Bologna 3–0,[46][96] while Ginobili was elected Italian League MVP too.[97] After the double in 1997–98, in 2000–01 season, Virtus completed a so-called Triple Crown (known in Italy as Grande Slam), winning all the trophies that it could won.[98]

In the following season, Virtus won its 8th Italian Cup, but after some defeats Madrigali fired Messina. However, after a field invasion by Virtus supporters before a match against Pallacanestro Trieste, Madrigali was forced to re-hire him.[99] Despite this, the team lost 89–83 the EuroLeague final, which was held in PalaMalaguti, against Panathinaikos of Dejan Bodiroga and Željko Obradović,[100] and was eliminated in the semifinals for the national championship by Benetton Treviso.[101]

2002–2003: Financial problems and interdictionEdit

In 2003, Ginóbili moved to the NBA, where he played for the San Antonio Spurs, and Ettore Messina was hired by Benetton, thus Bogdan Tanjević was appointed new head coach.[102] During the summer, due to contrasts with Madrigali, Brunamonti also left the club, after nearly 20 years spent as player and general manager.[103]

After a soundly defeat in Fabriano, Tanjević was replaced by Valerio Bianchini, who failed in reaching the playoffs for the first time in Virtus history but succeeded in saving the team from relegation.[104] However, suffering from serious financial problems, mainly caused by the failure of Madrigali's video game company CTO SpA, Virtus was excluded from the Serie A in August 2003, after missing payments to players, first of all the young Slovenian Sani Bečirovič.[46][105][106]

2003–2013: The Sabatini eraEdit

The bankruptcy was avoided thanks to the intervention of a local trade fair entrepreneur, Claudio Sabatini, who transacted all the debts of the club, after agreements with creditors and took over the company from Madrigali.[107] Sabatini acquired also the club Progresso Castelmaggiore, from a small town in Bologna's hinterland, which played in Serie A2 and sponsored the new team with FuturVirtus brand, guaranteeing, therefore, the continuity of the glorious name "Virtus" despite the exclusion from the championships.[108]

2003–2005: Promotion to Serie AEdit

In 2003–04 season, Sabatini signed important former NBA players like Charles Smith, Vonteego Cummings and Rick Brunson. The team was initially coached by Giampiero Ticchi, who was replaced in November by Alberto Bucci, Black V's historic coach. Despite good premises, FuturVirtus did not reach the promotion in Serie A, losing 3–0 in the final series of playoffs from Aurora Jesi.[109]

During the summer of 2004 the club obtained the re-affiliation to the Italian Basketball Federation and the right to use the name "Virtus Pallacanestro" again. The team was completed, among others, with Corey Brewer, A.J. Guyton and Bennett Davison and was coached by Giordano Consolini, who served as Messina's assistant for years.[110] On 3 June 2005, Virtus returned to the top division, defeating 3–0 the Premiata Montegranaro.[111]

2005–2009: National finals and return to EuropeEdit

 
Travis Best and coach Zare Markovski before a game

In the 2005–06 season, Sabatini hired Zare Markovski from Macedonia as new head coach and signed, among others, David Bluthenthal, Dušan Vukčević and Christian Drejer. Despite a good season's start the team ended 9th, out of the playoffs.[112]

After the end of the season, Bluthenthal, who was Black V's top scorer, went to Fortitudo, while Virtus confirmed Vukčević and Drejer, as well as coach Markovski. Moreover, Sabatini signed Travis Best, a former NBA player for the Indiana Pacers, Brett Blizzard, Guilherme Giovannoni, Vlado Ilievski and Tyrone Grant. The team reached the Italian Cup final, losing against Benetton Treviso and placed second in the regular season, qualifying for the playoffs after a five-year absence. Markovski's team reached the championship finals, but it was defeated 3–0 by Montepaschi Siena.[113] The Black V also reached the EuroCup semifinals, where it was defeated by the Ukrainian team Azovmash Mariupol.[46]

In the following summer, the team was suddenly reshaped and Markovski was fired by Sabatini, whose presidency was characterized by his fickle nature, which led him implementing unexpected and often unpopular choices. The president hired Stefano Pillastrini as new head coach and signed, among others, Alan Anderson, Delonte Holland, Dewarick Spencer and Roberto Chiacig.[114] Virtus participated in the EuroLeague, but arrived last in the Group A, winning only two games out of 14. In January 2008, Pillastrini was fired and Renato Pasquali became the new coach; after few months Sabatini re-signed Travis Best, who led the team to the second consecutive Italian Cup final, lost against Avellino. However, Virtus ended the season at the 16th place.[115]

In 2008–09 season, the team was completely renewed with prominent players like the former NBA player Earl Boykins, Keith Langford, Sharrod Ford and the re-sign of Dušan Vukčević. After few months, coach Pasquali was succeeded by Matteo Boniciolli.[116] On 21 February, Virtus played its third consecutive Italian Cup final, which once again lost against Siena. On 26 April 2009, Virtus won the European third tier trophy, the EuroChallenge, against Cholet Basket, thanks to 21 points of the Final Four MVP Keith Langford.[117] The team ended the regular season at the 5th place and was eliminated in the first round of national playoffs by Treviso. Boniciolli was immediately fired by president Sabatini and the team was reshaped again during summer.[118]

2009–2013: Transition yearsEdit

In the following season, Sabatini hired Lino Lardo as head coach and appointed Vukčević as team's captain.[119] He also signed, among others, David Moss, Andre Collins, Petteri Koponen and Viktor Sanikidze. Virtus lost its fourth consecutive Italian Cup final and ended the season 5th, being eliminated 3–2 in the first round of the playoffs by Cantù.[120] In 2010–11, the team was completed with Giuseppe Poeta, Valerio Amoroso, Jared Homan, as well as K.C. Rivers from 2011. The Black V ended the regular season 8th and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Siena.[121]

In 2011–2012, Sabatini hired Alessandro Finelli as new coach and signed important players like Chris Douglas-Roberts, a former NBA players, Terrell McIntyre and Angelo Gigli. In late 2011, Sabatini sold Virtus to a foundation of local entrepreneurs, however, he remained as CEO and de facto general manager.[122] At the end of the regular season, the Black V arrived 5th, being eliminated by Dinamo Sassari, in the first round of the playoffs.[123] In the following season, Virtus signed, among others, Steven Smith, Richard Mason Rocca and Jacob Pullen. During the season, Luca Bechi succeeded Finelli as new head coach.[124] The team ended the season at the 14th place.[125]

2013–2016: Struggles and relegationEdit

After years of poor successes, Sabatini definitively exited from the club and in 2013, Renato Villalta, a former Virtus star, was appointed president.[126] In 2013–14 season, Virtus signed, among others, Matt Waksh, Willie Warren and Shawn King. In January 2014, Bechi was sacked due to poor results, and Giorgio Valli became the new coach.[127] However, the team arrived 13th, out of the playoffs.

In 2014–15 season, Virtus returned to the playoffs, thanks to an outstanding season of its top-scorers Allan Ray, Jeremy Hazell and Okaro White. However, it was eliminated in the first round by Olimpia Milan.

In the following year Villalta was abruptly removed from his post and Francesco Bertolini was appointed president by the foundation.[128] After few months, Bertolini was replaced too by Alberto Bucci, the former Virtus coach, who won three national titles with the Black V between 1980s and 1990s. However, the season was characterized by a serious injury to team captain, Allan Ray, and the substitute players signed by the club failed to adequately replace the injured top-player.[129] On 4 May 2016, at the end of the regular season the team ranked 16th and last, therefore it was relegated to Serie A2 Basket for the first time in its history.[130]

2016–present: The Zanetti eraEdit

2016–2019: Promotion and return to EuropeEdit

 
The Virtus fans of "Curva Calori" in PalaDozza, 2018

In the summer, president Bucci announced Alessandro Ramagli as new head coach of Virtus. The club built a good team for the league, led by important players such as Guido Rosselli, Klaudio Ndoja, Michael Umeh and Kenny Lawson. During the season an important change in ownership occurred: the coffee entrepreneur and former politician, Massimo Zanetti, owner of Segafredo, who was also team's sponsor, became the majority shareholder of the club.[131][132] Virtus ended second in the regular season behind Treviso and on 19 June 2017 won the playoffs, beating Trieste by 3–0, thus returning to the top series after only one year. During the playoffs, the Black V returned after more than twenty years to Bologna's historic arena, PalaDozza, which became the new official home court in the following season.

In summer 2017, the club signed two of the most prominent Italian players, Pietro Aradori and Alessandro Gentile, as well as two international players like Marcus Slaughter and Oliver Lafayette. Despite good premises, the team was eliminated in the first round of Italian Cup's Final Eight and failed to qualify for the championship playoffs.

 
Coach Đorđević and the team, after winning the 2018–19 Basketball Champions League in Antwerp

The 2018–19 season began with the appointment of Alessandro Dalla Salda as new club's CEO and the hire of Stefano Sacripanti as new head coach. Aradori and Filippo Baldi Rossi were confirmed and the club signed, among others, Tony Taylor, Kevin Punter, Amath M'Baye and Brian Qvale, to participate in the Basketball Champions League, which was Virtus's first European competition after ten years. The team reached a record of seven wins in the first seven games of the continental competition, which had never been achieved before.[133] In March 2019, the team signed Mario Chalmers, two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat.[134][135] On 9 March, president Alberto Bucci died at 70 years old, due to complications from a cancer.[136][137] On 11 March, after a defeat against Cantù and with Virtus temporarily out of playoffs, the team board sacked Sacripanti and appointed the Serbian Aleksandar Đorđević as new head coach.[138] On 4 April, the Black V defeated Nanterre 92, reaching the BCL Final Four in Antwerp,[139] which won on 5 May defeating Iberostar Tenerife 73–61, thanks to an outstanding game by Kevin Punter, who was able to score 26 points and was nominated Final Four MVP.[140] The BCL was the fifth European title in team's history and the first one after ten years.[141]

In July 2019, Virtus opened its women's basketball wing, to participate in the Serie A1 championship.[142] In the same month, Giuseppe Sermasi, a local entrepreneur and former vice president, became Virtus new president, holding the vacant post after Bucci's death, while Luca Baraldi, a prominent manager of Segafredo, was appointed new CEO.[143]

2019–present: The Serbian showtime and the 16th titleEdit

 
Miloš Teodosić in 2019. The Serbian star is widely considered a clear example of Black V's rebirth

On 13 July, Virtus signed a three-year deal with Miloš Teodosić, 2016 EuroLeague champion and former NBA player,[144] who was widely considered one of the best European point guard of all time.[145] In August, the Black V signed Stefan Marković, a point guard from BC Khimki who, along with Teodosić, would become the backbone of the team in the following seasons.[146] Among others, the club signed also Vince Hunter, Kyle Weems, Julian Gamble and Giampaolo Ricci.[147] In the 2019–20 season, Virtus played some home games, including the derby against Fortitudo won 94–62, at the Virtus Segafredo Arena, a temporary indoor arena with a capacity of nearly 10,000 seats, located in the Fiera District.[148][149]

On 7 April 2020, after more than a month of suspension, the Italian Basketball Federation officially ended the 2019–20 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that severely hit Italy.[150] Virtus ended the season first, with 18 wins and only 2 defeats, but the title was not assigned.[151] On 5 May, the EuroLeague's commissioner Jordi Bertomeu announced the cancellation of the EuroCup season too.[152] Virtus, which had achieved the league's playoffs, was confirmed for the following season.[153]

After the early end of the season, the team was largerly confirmed for the following championship and, in May and June, the club signed prominent Italian players, like Awudu Abass and Amedeo Tessitori,[154][155] and homegrown ones, like Amar Alibegović.[156] In September, Virtus hosted the Supercup's Final Four at the Segafredo Arena, but it lost against Olimpia Milan 75–68; the Supercup was the first competition since the cancellation of the previous season.[157] In November 2020, Virtus signed a three-year deal with Marco Belinelli, from the San Antonio Spurs. Belinelli, one of the greatest Italian players of all time and 2014 NBA Champion, started his career with Virtus in the early 2000s.[158] The season was also characterized by the emergence of Alessandro Pajola, the young Italian point guard who became one team's most important players.[159] In April 2021, despite a winning record of 19–2, Virtus was defeated in the EuroCup's semifinals by UNICS Kazan.[160] However, the season ended with a great success. In fact, after having knocked out 3–0 both Basket Treviso in the quarterfinals and New Basket Brindisi in the semifinals, on 11 June Virtus defeated 4–0 its historic rival Olimpia Milan in the national finals, winning its 16th national title and the first one after twenty years.[161] Teodosić was appointed MVP of the finals.[162]

On 15 June, after a few days from the victory, Đorđević was not confirmed as head coach at the end of his two-year contract, due to some tensions with the club's ownership which occurred during the season.[163] On 18 June, the club hired the new head coach, signing a three-year deal with Sergio Scariolo, from the Toronto Raptors.[164]

LogosEdit

ArenaEdit

Since its foundation, Virtus Bologna has changed several home arenas. Each of them was more than just a basketball court, rather a real "house" of the Black V, marking, in the period when they were used, a different era of the long history of society:

Arena Photo Capacity Years Notes
Church of Santa Lucia   N/A
1934–1946
Former Catholic church, nowadays it is the auditorium of the University of Bologna
Court of Via Ravone   N/A
1946
Outdoor field used after World War II
Sala Borsa   N/A
1946–1957
City's stock exchange, nowadays it is a library
PalaDozza  
c. 7,000
1957–1996
Known as "Sports Hall" until 1966 and nicknamed Il Madison
Unipol Arena  
8,650
1996–2017
Known as "PalaMalaguti" until 2008 and "Futurshow Station" until 2011
PalaDozza  
5,570
2017–2020
Segafredo Arena  
10,000
2019–present
Temporary indoor arena located in a fair pavilion within the Fiera District

In 2019, the club has closed a deal to build a new arena with 16,000 seating capacity in the Fiera District, not far away from the temporary Virtus Segafredo Arena.[165]

HonoursEdit

Domestic competitionsEdit

Winners (16): 1945–46, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1975–76, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1983–84, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2020–21
Runners-up (17): 1935, 1936, 1937–38, 1939–40, 1942–43, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1980–81, 2006–07
Winners (8): 1973–74, 1983–84, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02
Runners-up (6): 1992–93, 1999–00, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
Winners (1): 1995
Runners-up (8): 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2020
Winners (1): 2017
Winners (1): 2016–17

European competitionsEdit

Winners (2): 1997–98, 2000–01
Runners-up (3): 1980–81, 1998–99, 2001–02
4th place (1): 1979–80
Final Four (3): 1998, 1999, 2002
Semifinalists (1): 2020–21
Winners (1): 1989–90
Runners-up (2): 1977–78, 1999–00
Semifinalists (2): 1978–79, 1981–82
Winners (1): 2018–19
Winners (1): 2008–09
3rd place (1): 2006–07

Worldwide competitionsEdit

Runners-up (1): 2020
Runners-up (2): 1993, 1995

UnofficialEdit

Winners (1): 2000–01

Season by seasonEdit

Season Tier League Pos. W–L Italian Cup Other competitions European competitions
1934
2 First Div. 1st
5–1
1935
1 Nat. Div. 2nd
10–6
1936
1 Nat. Div. 2nd
10–2
1936–37 1 Nat. Div. 2nd
11–3
1937–38 1 Serie A 2nd
12–5
1938–39 1 Serie A 3rd
12–4
1939–40 1 Serie A 2nd
13–5
1940–41 1 Serie A 6th
8–10
1941–42 1 Serie A 3rd
16–1–4
1942–43 1 Serie A 2nd
17–3
1945–46 1 Serie A 1st
5–0
1946–47 1 Serie A 1st
15–1–2
1947–48 1 Serie A 1st
15–1–4
1948–49 1 Serie A 1st
18–4
1949–50 1 Serie A 2nd
20–6
1950–51 1 Serie A 3rd
16–2–8
1951–52 1 Serie A 2nd
17–5
1952–53 1 Serie A 2nd
15–7
1953–54 1 Serie A 3rd
14–8
1954–55 1 Serie A 1st
15–2–5
1955–56 1 Elite 1st
19–3
1956–57 1 Elite 2nd
18–4
1957–58 1 Elite 2nd
19–3
1958–59 1 Elite 2nd
18–4
1959–60 1 Elite 2nd
19–3
1960–61 1 Elite 2nd
18–4
1 Champions Cup
SR
3–1
1961–62 1 Elite 3rd
15–7
1962–63 1 Elite 3rd
21–5
1963–64 1 Elite 3rd
23–3
1964–65 1 Elite 3rd
15–7
1965–66 1 Serie A 4th
15–7
1966–67 1 Serie A 6th
10–12
1968–69 1 Serie A 3rd
16–6
Top 16
1968–69 1 Serie A 10th
9–13
Quarterfinalist
1969–70 1 Serie A 7th
9–13
Quarterfinalist
1970–71 1 Serie A 10th
6–18
Top 16
1971–72 1 Serie A 5th
11–11
Quarterfinalist
1972–73 1 Serie A 4th
12–14
Quarterfinalist
1973–74 1 Serie A 5th
15–11
Champion
1974–75 1 Serie A1 4th
26–14
2 Cup Winners' Cup
QF
2–3
1975–76 1 Serie A1 1st
28–8
3 Korać Cup
SF
6–1
1976–77 1 Serie A1 2nd
25–8
1 Champions Cup
GS
3–3
1977–78 1 Serie A1 2nd
23–11
2 Cup Winners' Cup
2nd
6–5
1978–79 1 Serie A1 1st
23–11
2 Cup Winners' Cup
SF
5–3
1979–80 1 Serie A1 1st
26–8
1 Champions Cup
SF
9–5
1980–81 1 Serie A1 2nd
26–15
1 Champions Cup
2nd
13–4
1981–82 1 Serie A1 4th
24–16
2 Cup Winners' Cup
SF
4–4
1982–83 1 Serie A1 5th
24–11
1983–84 1 Serie A1 1st
28–10
Champion
1984–85 1 Serie A1 7th
18–16
Quarterfinalist 1 Champions Cup
SF
5–9
1985–86 1 Serie A1 10th
17–15
Quarterfinalist
1986–87 1 Serie A1 5th
20–12
Quarterfinalist
1987–88 1 Serie A1 9th
18–14
Top 16 3 Korać Cup
QF
6–2
1988–89 1 Serie A1 3rd
21–15
Champion
1989–90 1 Serie A1 5th
22–13
Champion 2 Cup Winner's Cup
C
8–3
1990–91 1 Serie A1 3rd
22–14
Quarterfinalist 2 Cup Winner's Cup
QF
6–2
1991–92 1 Serie A1 4th
24–12
Semifinalist 1 EuroLeague
QF
13–6
1992–93 1 Serie A1 1st
31–6
Runners-up 1 EuroLeague
QF
8–8
1993–94 1 Serie A1 1st
31–9
Semifinalist 1 EuroLeague
QF
10–7
1994–95 1 Serie A1 1st
33–9
Quarterfinalist 1 EuroLeague
QF
11–8
1995–96 1 Serie A1 3rd
26–12
Semifinalist Supercup
C
1 EuroLeague
GS
8–8
1996–97 1 Serie A1 3rd
20–14
Champion 1 EuroLeague
T16
8–11
1997–98 1 Serie A1 1st
32–7
Semifinalist Supercup
2nd
1 EuroLeague
C
19–3
1998–99 1 Serie A1 3rd
24–9
Champion Supercup
2nd
1 EuroLeague
2nd
15–7
1999–00 1 Serie A1 3rd
24–14
Runners-up Supercup
2nd
2 Saporta Cup
2nd
15–4
2000–01 1 Serie A1 1st
38–5
Champion Supercup
2nd
1 EuroLeague
C
19–3
2001–02 1 Serie A 3rd
32–11
Champion Supercup
SF
1 EuroLeague
2nd
17–5
2002–03 1 Serie A 14th
13–21
Supercup
SF
1 EuroLeague
T16
6–14
2003–04 2 Serie A2 3rd
25–16
2 ULEB Cup
RS
3–7
2004–05 2 Serie A2 2nd
31–10
2005–06 1 Serie A 9th
19–15
2006–07 1 Serie A 2nd
28–18
Runners-up 3 FIBA EuroCup
3rd
12–4
2007–08 1 Serie A 15th
13–21
Runners-up 1 EuroLeague
RS
2–12
2008–09 1 Serie A 5th
19–16
Runners-up 3 EuroChallenge
C
13–3
2009–10 1 Serie A 5th
17–15
Runners-up Supercup
2nd
2010–11 1 Serie A 8th
16–18
Supercup
2nd
2011–12 1 Serie A 5th
20–15
2012–13 1 Serie A 14th
10–20
2013–14 1 Serie A 13th
11–19
2014–15 1 Serie A 8th
15–18
2015–16 1 Serie A 16th
11–19
2016–17 2 Serie A2 1st
33–11
LNP Cup
C
2017–18 1 LBA 9th
15–15
Quarterfinalist
2018–19 1 LBA 11th
15–15
Semifinalist 3 Champions League
C
14–5
2019–20 1 LBA 1st[b]
18–2
Quarterfinalist Intercontinental 2nd 2 EuroCup
12–4
2020–21 1 LBA 1st
29–9
Quarterfinalist Supercup 2nd 2 EuroCup
SF
19–2

Top performances in European & Worldwide competitionsEdit

Season Achievement Notes
EuroLeague
1979–80 Semifinal group stage 4th place in a group with Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, Real Madrid, Bosna, Nashua EBBC and Partizan
1980–81 Final Lost to Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv 79–80 in the final (Strasbourg)
1984–85 Semifinal group stage 6th place in a group with Cibona, Real Madrid, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, CSKA Moscow and Banco Roma
1991–92 Quarterfinals Eliminated 2–1 by Partizan, 65–78 (L) in Belgrade, 61–60 (W) and 65–69 (L) in Bologna
1992–93 Quarterfinals Eliminated 2–0 by Real Madrid Teka, 56–76 (L) in Bologna and 58–79 (L) in Madrid
1993–94 Quarterfinals Eliminated 2–1 by Olympiacos, 77–64 (W) in Bologna, 69–89 (L) and 62–65 (L) in Piraeus
1994–95 Quarterfinals Eliminated 2–1 by Panathinaikos, 85–68 (W) in Bologna, 55–63 (L) and 56–99 (L) in Athens
1997–98 Champions Defeated Partizan Zepter 83–61 in the semi-final, defeated AEK 58–44 in the final of the Final Four in Barcelona
1998–99 Final Defeated Teamsystem Bologna 62–57 in the semi-final, lost to Žalgiris 74–82 in the final (Munich)
2000–01 Champions Defeated 3-2 Tau Cerámica, 65-78 (L) and 94–73 (W) in Bologna, 80–60 (W) and 79–96 (L) in Vitoria-Gasteiz, finally 82–74 (W) in Bologna
2001–02 Final Defeated Benetton Treviso 90–82 in the semi-final, lost to Panathinaikos 83–89 in the final (Bologna)
FIBA Saporta Cup
1974–75 Quarterfinals 3rd place in a group with Spartak Leningrad, Jugoplastika and Moderne
1977–78 Final Lost to Gabetti Cantù 82–84 in the final (Milan)
1978–79 Semifinals Eliminated by EBBC, 85–73 (W) in Bologna and 92–105 (L) in Den Bosch after two overtimes
1981–82 Semifinals Eliminated by Real Madrid, 78–79 (L) in Bologna and 94–107 (L) in Madrid
1989–90 Champions Defeated Real Madrid 79–74 in the final of European Cup Winner's Cup in Florence
1990–91 Quarterfinals 3rd place in a group with Dynamo Moscow, Pitch Cholet and Ovarense
1999–00 Final Lost to AEK 76–83 in the final (Lausanne)
EuroCup
2020–21 Semifinals Eliminated 2–1 by UNICS Kazan, 80–76 (W) in Bologna, 85–81 (L) in Kazan and 100–107 (L) in Bologna
FIBA Korać Cup
1975–76 Semifinals Eliminated by Jugoplastika, 83–74 (W) in Split and 79–92 (L) in Bologna
EuroChallenge
2006–07 Final Four 3rd place in Girona, lost to Azovmash 73–74 in the semi-final, defeated MMT Estudiantes 80–62 in the 3rd place game
2008–09 Champions Defeated Proteas EKA AEL 83–69 in the semi-final, defeated Cholet 77–75 in the final of the Eurochallenge Final Four in Bologna
Basketball Champions League
2018–19 Champions Defeated Brose Bamberg 67–50 in the semi-final, defeated Iberostar Tenerife 73–61 in the final of the BCL Final Four in Antwerp
FIBA Intercontinental Cup
2020 Final Defeated San Lorenzo 75–57 in the semi-final, lost to Iberostar Tenerife 80–72 in the final (Tenerife)
McDonald's Championship
1993 Final Defeated Limoges CSP 101–85 in the semi-final, lost to Phoenix Suns 90–112 in the final (Munich)
1995 Final Defeated Real Madrid Teka 102–96 in the semi-final, lost to Houston Rockets 112–126 in the final (London)

The road to the European Cup victoriesEdit

PlayersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Segafredo Virtus Bologna roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
C 0   Tessitori, Amedeo 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 97 kg (214 lb) 26 – (1994-10-07)7 October 1994
PG 1   Deri, Lorenzo 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 85 kg (187 lb) 20 – (2001-05-16)16 May 2001
G/F 3   Belinelli, Marco 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 100 kg (220 lb) 35 – (1986-03-25)25 March 1986
PG 6   Pajola, Alessandro 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 95 kg (209 lb) 21 – (1999-11-09)9 November 1999
PF 7   Alibegović, Amar 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 109 kg (240 lb) 26 – (1995-03-31)31 March 1995
PG 9   Marković, Stefan 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) 98 kg (216 lb) 33 – (1988-04-25)25 April 1988
PF 11   Ricci, Giampaolo (C) 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 102 kg (225 lb) 29 – (1991-09-27)27 September 1991
PG 14   Adams, Josh 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 86 kg (190 lb) 27 – (1993-11-16)16 November 1993
F/C 32   Hunter, Vince 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 98 kg (216 lb) 26 – (1994-08-05)5 August 1994
SF 34   Weems, Kyle 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 100 kg (220 lb) 31 – (1989-08-23)23 August 1989
SF 35   Nikolić, Stefan 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 95 kg (209 lb) 23 – (1997-06-29)29 June 1997
G 44   Teodosić, Miloš 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 89 kg (196 lb) 34 – (1987-03-19)19 March 1987
C 45   Gamble, Julian 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 114 kg (251 lb) 31 – (1989-09-15)15 September 1989
SF 55   Abass, Awudu 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 100 kg (220 lb) 28 – (1993-01-27)27 January 1993
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  •   Christian Fedrigo
  •   Mattia Largo

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  •   Injured

Updated: 15 June 2021

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Depth chartEdit

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Julian Gamble Vince Hunter Amedeo Tessitori
PF Giampaolo Ricci Amar Alibegović Stefan Nikolić
SF Kyle Weems Awudu Abass
SG Marco Belinelli Miloš Teodosić
PG Stefan Marković Josh Adams Alessandro Pajola Lorenzo Deri

6+6 format (colours: Italian or homegrown players; foreign players; young players)

Notable playersEdit

Retired numbersEdit

Virtus Bologna retired numbers
No Nat. Player Position Tenure
4   Roberto Brunamonti PG 1982–1996
5   Predrag Danilović SG/SF 1992–1995
1997–2000
10   Renato Villalta PF/C 1976–1989

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of FamersEdit

FIBA Hall of FamersEdit

Other notable playersEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Criteria

To appear in this section a player must have either:

  • Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club.
  • Played at least one official international match for their national team at any time.
  • Played at least one official NBA match at any time.

Players at the NBA draftEdit

# Denotes player who has never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game
Position Player Year Round Pick Drafted by
C   Augusto Binelli# 1986 2nd round 40th Atlanta Hawks
C   Radoslav Nesterović 1998 1st round 17th Minnesota Timberwolves
PF/C   David Andersen 2002 2nd round 37th Atlanta Hawks
PG/SG   Sani Bečirovič# 2003 2nd round 46th Denver Nuggets

Head coachesEdit

Sponsorship namesEdit

Throughout the years, due to sponsorship, the club has been known as :

  • Minganti Bologna (1953–1958)
  • Oransoda Bologna (1958–1960)
  • Idrolitina Bologna (1960–1961)
  • Virtus Bologna (1961–1962)
  • Knorr Bologna (1962–1965)
  • Candy Bologna (1965–1969)
  • Virtus Bologna (1969–1970)
  • Norda Bologna (1970–1974)
  • Sinudyne Bologna (1974–1983)
  • Granarolo Bologna (1983–1986)
  • Dietor Bologna (1986–1988)
  • Knorr Bologna (1988–1993)
  • Buckler Beer Bologna (1993–1996)
  • Kinder Bologna (1996–2002)
  • Virtus Bologna (2002–2003)
  • Carisbo Bologna (2003–2004)
  • Caffè Maxim Bologna (2004–2005)
  • VidiVici Bologna (2005–2007)
  • La Fortezza Bologna (2007–2009)
  • Canadian Solar Bologna (2009–2012)
  • SAIE3 Bologna (2012–2013)
  • Oknoplast Bologna (2013)
  • Granarolo Bologna (2013–2015)
  • Obiettivo Lavoro Bologna (2015–2016)
  • Segafredo Virtus Bologna (2016–present)

Kit manufacturerEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Virtus Segafredo Bologna, EuroCup Basketball
  2. ^ Segafredo Virtus Bologna, Eurosport
  3. ^ Virtus pallacanestro Bologna – Palmares, www.virtus.it
  4. ^ Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna – Proprietà, www.virtus.it
  5. ^ Virtus – Società Educazione Fisica, Storia e Memoria di Bologna
  6. ^ Il mito della "V Nera", Società di Educazione Fisica Virtus
  7. ^ Santa Lucia, Virtuspedia
  8. ^ Moseley, Ray (2004). Mussolini: The Last 600 Days of Il Duce. p. 97. ISBN 9781589790957.
  9. ^ Primo scudetto della Virtus pallacanestro, Biblioteca Salaborsa
  10. ^ Virtus, secondo conflitto mondiale e dopoguerra, BasketCity
  11. ^ Renzo Poluzzi, Virtuspedia
  12. ^ Almanacco illustrato del basket '90. Modena, Panini, 1989
  13. ^ Storia e rivalità del derby d'Italia, domani a Bologna con diretta Rai 2, Baskettissimo
  14. ^ Il Gira seconda squadra bolognese di pallacanestro in serie A, Biblioteca Salaborsa
  15. ^ Champions Cup 1965-66
  16. ^ Tutta la genialità di Tracuzzi in una monografia
  17. ^ Eduardo Kucharski, Virtuspedia
  18. ^ Virtus pallacanestro Bologna – Stagione 1960/1961, Virtuspedia
  19. ^ Mario Alesini, Virtuspedia
  20. ^ Una notte per parlare di Simmenthal e Ignis, Olimpia Milano
  21. ^ Addio a Porelli, anima della Virtus, Corriere di Bologna
  22. ^ Quella volta che l'Avvocato..., la Repubblia di Bologna
  23. ^ Almanacco illustrato del basket '90 Modena, Panini, 1989
  24. ^ Euroleague mourns ULEB founder Gianluigi Porelli.
  25. ^ Classifiche dal 1971 al 1975
  26. ^ Dan Peterson, Virtuspedia
  27. ^ "Aspiring To Higher Things: All-America, Rhodes Scholar, NBA player, Tom McMillen is emulating Bill Bradley. Next, elective office". Sports Illustrated. April 5, 1982. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
  28. ^ Centomila canestri – Storia statistica della Virtus Pallacanestro, Renato Lemmi Gigli, La Fotocromo Italiana, 1988
  29. ^ Fairbank, Dave. "Driscoll's Tribe," Daily Press (Newport News, VA), Sunday, February 23, 2003. Retrieved April 27, 2020
  30. ^ Virtus 1975–1976: dopo vent'anni, lo scudetto, BasketCity
  31. ^ LegaBasket, statistiche squadra, www.legabasket.it
  32. ^ Classifiche dal 1975 al 1980
  33. ^ a b "Saporta Cup (C2)". linguasport.com. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  34. ^ Olimpia–Virtus: il derby d'Italia, Olimpia Milano
  35. ^ Le pillole quotidiane di coach Peterson: il rapporto con Gigi Porelli ai tempi della Virtus Bologna, Super Basket
  36. ^ Almanacco Ufficiale del campionato italiano di basket, Libreria dello Sport, 2006
  37. ^ "BATS web - Il Basket del Bats: formazioni del campionato italiano (1976-1980)". Il Basket del Bats. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  38. ^ Basket: addio al Duca Nero Mc Millian: dai Lakers al tricolore con la Virtus, Gazzetta dello Sport
  39. ^ Il mito delle Vu Nere
  40. ^ 1979–80 FIBA European Champions Cup
  41. ^ Terry Driscoll, Virtuspedia
  42. ^ Bonamico, una notte lunga trent'anni. "Così ci tolsero la Coppa Campioni", la Repubblica
  43. ^ "Elvis Rolle". legabasket.it (in Italian). Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  44. ^ Granarolo Felsinea, Virtuspedia
  45. ^ Alla Virtus Granarolo lo "scudetto della stella", Biblitoeca Salaborsa
  46. ^ a b c d e "Virtus VidiVici - Club profile". Euroleague. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  47. ^ 1984–85 FIBA European Champions Cup
  48. ^ Classifiche dal 1985 al 1990
  49. ^ Krešimir Ćosić, Virtuspedia
  50. ^ Buckland, Jason (July 21, 2015). "Micheal Ray Richardson hopes to return to the NBA" – via www.sportsonearth.com. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  51. ^ Cook: Senior class Pitt's Johnson refuses to pout, becomes leader, post-gazette.com published February 14, 2002
  52. ^ Knorr, Virtuspedia
  53. ^ LegaBasket – Statistiche di squadra
  54. ^ Sugar – la Giornata Tipo
  55. ^ Il tributo del PalaDozza a Sugar Richardson, BolognaBasket
  56. ^ Bob Hill, Virtuspedia
  57. ^ Michael Ray Richardson, Virtuspedia
  58. ^ Classifica LegaBasket 1989–90
  59. ^ Classifiche dal 1990 al 1995
  60. ^ Sugar e Chalmers, diversamente fenomeni, la Repubblica
  61. ^ Paolo Francia, Virtuspedia
  62. ^ Alfredo Cazzola, Virtuspedia
  63. ^ Provvidenza, Gianfranco Civolani, 2009
  64. ^ Gianluigi Porelli, Dan Peterson, 2009
  65. ^ I canestri si riempiono di soldi, Guido Ercole, La Stampa, Turin, 31 October 1991, p. 31
  66. ^ Predrag Danilovic, Virtuspedia
  67. ^ Cliff Levingston, Virtuspedia
  68. ^ Buckler, Virtuspedia
  69. ^ NBA International Pre-Season and Regular-Season Games, NBA
  70. ^ FIBA Europe 1995, www.fibaeurope.com
  71. ^ Mito delle Vu Nere
  72. ^ Lingua Sport, www.linguasport.com
  73. ^ Tabellino finale della Supercoppa 1995
  74. ^ FIBA Europe 1996, www.fibaeurope.com
  75. ^ Roberto Brunamonti, Virtuspedia
  76. ^ Kinder, Virtuspedia
  77. ^ Coppa Italia 1997 – Tabellone del torneo
  78. ^ FIBA Europe 1997, www.fibaeurope.com
  79. ^ Classifiche dal 1995 al 2000
  80. ^ Roberto Brunamonit, Virtuspedia
  81. ^ Stagione 1997–98, Virtuspedia
  82. ^ Il palasport di Casalecchio, Virtuspedia
  83. ^ Il tiro da quattro di Sasha Danilovic, LBA
  84. ^ Basket, venti anni fa il tiro impossibile di Danilovic: e la Virtus beffò la Fortitudo, la Repubblica
  85. ^ Basket city, i migliori giocatori della storia della Virtus, Bologna Today
  86. ^ Classifica su LegaBasket
  87. ^ FIBA Europe 1999–2000
  88. ^ Almanacco illustrato del Basket 1991, Panini, 1990
  89. ^ Marco Madrigali, Virtuspedia
  90. ^ Quando Bologna era Basket City
  91. ^ Danilovic dice basta, il basket perde la star, la Repubblica
  92. ^ Le squadre più forti di sempre: la Virtus del Triplete di Messina
  93. ^ Il Grande Slam della Virtus Kinder
  94. ^ Tabellino della finale di Coppa Italia 2001, www.legabasket.it
  95. ^ Finals, Game 5: Kinder Bologna becomes first champ in last game!, EuroLeague
  96. ^ Virtus, Grande Slam. Lo Scudetto dopo l'Europa
  97. ^ Manu Ginoboli Info Page – Bio Archived 24 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine, nba.com. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
  98. ^ Tre volte Vrtus Bologna: il grande slam del 2001, La Giornata Tipo
  99. ^ Il palasport caccia via Madrigali aggredito deve scappare: mollerà?, la Repubblica
  100. ^ EuroLeague 2001–2001
  101. ^ Classifica 2001–2001, Lega Basket
  102. ^ Bogdan Tanjevic
  103. ^ Non mi basta restare solo per un contratto, Roberto Brunamonti, Virtuspedia
  104. ^ Valerio Bianchini, Virtuspedia
  105. ^ "Virtus Bologna is no more."La Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma, 4 August 2003. Retrieved on 3 June 2015.(in Italian)
  106. ^ "Virtus is out, Messina retaken.", Messaggero Veneto – Giornale del Friuli via Lega Basket, 1 September 2003. Retrieved on 3 June 2015.(in Italian)
  107. ^ La Virtus è di Sabatini, Gazzetta dello Sport
  108. ^ Claudio Sabatini, Virtuspedia
  109. ^ Classifiche, risultati e statistiche sulla stagione 2003–04, LegaDue
  110. ^ Giordano Consolini, Virtuspedia
  111. ^ La Virtus Bologna torna in A, Gazzetta dello Sport
  112. ^ Classifica 2005–06 su LegaBasket
  113. ^ Risultati 2006–07 su LegaBasket
  114. ^ LegaBasket – Statistiche squadra
  115. ^ Classifica 2007–08 su LegaBasket
  116. ^ Matteo Bonicciolli, Virtuspedia
  117. ^ "Virtus BolognaFiere beat brave Cholet". FIBA Europe. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  118. ^ Rivoluzione Virtus: Sabatini caccia tutti, Corriere di Bologna
  119. ^ Dusan Vukcevic, Virtuspedia
  120. ^ Risultati su LegaBasket
  121. ^ Risultati su LegaBasket
  122. ^ Virtus, Sabatini parla con 2 imprenditori «Tra 7 giorni lo statuto della fondazione», Corriere di Bologna
  123. ^ Risultati su LegaBasket
  124. ^ Luca Bechi, Virtuspedia
  125. ^ Classifica 2012–13 su LegaBasket
  126. ^ Virtus Bologna, Renato Villalta accetta l'incarico di Presidente
  127. ^ Giorgio Valli, Virtuspedia
  128. ^ Francesco Bertolini, Virtuspedia
  129. ^ "Obiettivo Lavoro e Virtus: facciamo squadra insieme" [Obiettivo Lavora and Virtus: we form a team together]. Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna (in Italian). 18 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  130. ^ "Virtus Bologna relegated for the first time". Eurohoops. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  131. ^ Zanetti conquista la Virtus. È il primo socio con il 40%
  132. ^ Zanetti conquista la Virtus
  133. ^ La Virtus Bologna supera anche Strasburgo ed è imbattuta! Colpo di Avellino che sbanca Le Mans
  134. ^ Basket, la Virtus chiama Chalmers, due titoli Nba a Miami insieme a LeBron
  135. ^ "Virtus Bologna announces signing of Mario Chalmers". Sportando.Basketball. March 3, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  136. ^ "Basket, morto Alberto Bucci, storico coach delle V nere" [Basketball, Alberto Bucci died, historical coach of the black Vs]. gazzetta.it (in Italian). 9 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  137. ^ Il basket piange Bucci: muore a 70 anni il coach della stella delle V nere
  138. ^ Basket, Serie A: Ribaltone Virtus, via Sacripanti, il coach è Djordjevic
  139. ^ Basket, Champions League: Virtus Bologna qualificata alle Final Four
  140. ^ Finale a suon di triple: Kevin Punter vince il premio di MVP
  141. ^ La Virtus Bologna conquista la Champions League: Tenerife ko in finale 73-61
  142. ^ Bologna ora ha anche le donne in A-1: obiettivo salvezza, poi le ambizioni
  143. ^ Nuovo CdA Virtus Bologna: Sermasi presidente, Baraldi amministratore delegato
  144. ^ "Milos Teodosic officially signs with Virtus Bologna". Sportando.basketball. July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  145. ^ Virtus Bologna, colpo da Eurolega: arriva Teodosic!, Gazzetta dello Sport
  146. ^ Ufficiale: la Virtus Bologna annuncia la firma di Stefan Markovic, Basket Italy
  147. ^ Serie A, i roster completi della stagione 2019/2020, Sportando
  148. ^ Virtus Bologna, Baraldi: “Siamo alla pari con Milano, esordio in Fiera con Treviso”, Basket Universo
  149. ^ Virtus Segafredo Arena: palazzo temporaneo da 8.970 posti, Sportando
  150. ^ Italian Basketball Federation officially ends LBA 2019-20 season, Sportando
  151. ^ Italian Basketball president Petrucci announces that LBA title won’t be assigned, Sportando
  152. ^ Basketball’s EuroLeague cancels season because of virus, Washington Post
  153. ^ EuroCup 2020-2021: garantito un posto a Virtus Bologna e Reyer Venezia, Sportando
  154. ^ "Benvenuto Amedeo!" (in Italian). virtus.it. 5 June 2020.
  155. ^ Virtus Bologna: è fatta per Awudu Abass, Sportando
  156. ^ La Virtus Bologna annuncia l’ingaggio di Amar Alibegovic, Sportando
  157. ^ Festa Milano, la Supercoppa è tua! Datome morde, Virtus Bologna piegata, Gazzetta dello Sport
  158. ^ Marco Belinelli è un nuovo giocatore dela Virtus Segafredo Bologna, virtus.it
  159. ^ LBA Awards, Pajola premiato come miglior Under 22, Bologna Today
  160. ^ Virtus, la notte più nera. In Eurolega vanno i russi, la Repubblica
  161. ^ Virtus, sei magnifica! Bologna, scudetto dopo 20 anni, Milano schiacciata 4-0, Gazzetta dello Sport
  162. ^ Milos Teodosic è l’MVP delle LBA Finals UnipolSai, Sportando
  163. ^ Grazie Sasha, Virtus Segafredo Bologna
  164. ^ Sergio Scariolo nuovo head coach di Virtus Segafredo Bologna, Virtus Segafredo Bologna
  165. ^ Un’arena da 16mila posti, ecco l’alba della nuova Virtus, Corriere di Bologna
  166. ^ "Krešimir Ćosić". Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  167. ^ Kresimir Cosic, FIBA Hall of Famers
  168. ^ "FIBA.basketball". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  169. ^ Jure Zdovc second Slovenian in FIBA Hall of Fame, STA
  170. ^ Basket, Ettore Messina nella Hall of Fame della Fiba; "Uno dei più grandi allenatori di tutti i tempi", la Repubblica
  171. ^ Virtus Segafredo-Ambalt Recanati, Virtus.it, Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  1. ^ Majority Shareholder
  2. ^ Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

External linksEdit