Basketball was introduced in Varese in 1945 with the creation of the historical club, Pallacanestro Varese. The first sponsors were introduced 8 years later in 1954 including Storm and Ignis, followed by Emerson, Turisanda, Cagiva, Star, Ciaocrem, Divarese, Ranger, Metis, Whirlpool and the most recent, Cimberio. Varese is also famous due to the lack of main sponsor in the mid-1990s and the choice of franchise name, the Varese Roosters.
Since their creation, Pallancanestro Varese has won 10 Italian titles, 1961, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978 and the last title, won 21 years after the previous title, in 1999. With 10 titles, Varese is the third most winning team of the Italian League ever after Olimpia Milano and Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna.
As it is shown by its roll of honors, Varese was extremely competitive in the 1970s, when the club played ten Euroleague finals in a row, winning 5 of them in 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976. Between 1970 and 1975 the club was named Ignis Varese. The golden age had begun some years before, as Varese conquered the Intercontinental Cup in 1966, repeating it 4 and 7 years later in its greatest decade in 1970 and 1973. Varese succeeded in doing the great enterprise, the Grande Slam, winning all the trophies available in 1973 with famous Professor Aca Nikolić seating on the bench. Varese also won two Cups of the Cups, 1967 and 1980, and four Italian Cups, in 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1973.
Varese's great age ended in the early nineties, when the team dropped down to the second division. Soon, the club took its revenge coming up once again to the Italian top league, and after 5 years spent as the real team to watch in the Italian playoffs, it succeeded in winning its historical 10th title, the one that gives the star on the jersey in 1999, with Italian national team's coach Carlo Recalcati on bench. Varese has never repeated that triumph so far, but the great resound of that success is still echoing all over Italy. Varese is trying to return to the top Italian and European competition in the years to come.
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