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Hall of Fame 15: Renzo Bariviera


Renzo Bariviera is a Veneto’s native, but basketball-wise he’s an original Olimpia Milano’s product. He came to Milano very young from Padova, he contributed to a lot of great stories, then he moved on to play for other teams and came back late in his career, called by coach Dan Peterson, in order to win again. Like he always did. Bariviera has won 14 trophies in his career, and they should have been more. When he became the starting small forward for Olimpia – a great defensive stopper, an extraordinary athlete, sound passer and capable scorer – he played three tie-breaking games against Varesewinning just one of them. During those years he won twice the Cup of Cups, then he was traded and played for Bologna and Forlì, before returning at the top with Cantù. With the Cantù team, Barviera won again. A lot. Including the Champions Cup of the 1982 and 1983, to go along two more Cup of Cups. When he was 34, Dan Peterson called him in Milano per a second stint. It looked like a senseless move, for an old player. Nothing like that. With Bariviera, Olimpia won again, the Italian league in 1985 after two finals lost to Roma and Bologna (the latter particularly painful since he missed a couple of crucial free throws in the decisive game 3) and the Korac Cup in 1985.

With the National team, Bariviera had an historical role, not just because he played in two Olympics, 1972 (he scored 16 points in the bronze medal game, but Italy lost by one to Cuba) and 1976, but mostley because his hook shot at the World Championship in 1970 (Ljubljana) allowed Italy to beat the USA for the first time in a official competition.