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Hall of Fame 3: Ricky Pagani


Everybody called him Ricky. Enrico Pagani was the Simmenthal captain and also some sort of symbol outside the lines: beautiful, with Asian eyes, the product of being born from a Russian mother in Shangai. They called him also “The Chinese” and had a role in a famous movie “The Dreams in the Drawers” along a star actress of that era, Lea Massari. He played for Olimpia from 1949 to 1960, he was a point-guard, playing along Sandro Gamba in the backcourt winning something like nine titles. He didn’t play much for the Nationl team, just 38 games in a three-year span, but that fact doesn’t change that he was a leader and also the face of Simmenthal during those years. He was a vocal leader on the court, more reserved out. He died in 1998, when he still had to turn 70. He was a man of great culture, capable to speak 12 languages and “used” often by Olimpia as a translator. It was Pagani, who during the University Games in Budapest approached Bill Bradley on behalf of Simmenthal to convince him to spend one year in Milano. He was the translator also when Bogoncelli dealt with Arthur Kenney.