Euroleague mourns ULEB founder Gianluigi Porelli

Sep 04, 2009 by Print
Gianluigi PorelliThe Euroleague joins the world basketball family in mourning the passing of Gianluigi Porelli, an icon among European basketball executives, at age 79. As the president of Virtus Bologna from 1968 to 1989, Mr. Porelli built the Italian club into a standardbearer of European basketball success, winning 16 domestic titles in that era and reaching the European Cup final in 1981. Under his leadership, Virtus also solidified a fan base and devoted following that led to Bologna being known as Basket City. A signing founder of the Italian League (Serie A) in 1970, Mr. Porelli also went on to conceive and help form the Union of European Basketball Leagues (ULEB) in 1991 along with current president Eduardo Portela. He was the ULEB president for eight years and was its honorary president at the time of his passing. Mr. Porelli was also an Italian League vice-president from 1984 to 1992 and then filled the same role for the Italian Basketball Federation from 1992 to 1999. From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Porelli was president of both the FIBA World and FIBA Europe legal commissions. He was also an elected member of the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame. Mr. Porelli's funeral will take place in Bologna on Monday.