ARMANI’S WINNING TEAM: Much to the delight of Giorgio Armani, enthusiastic owner and sponsor of the EA7 Olimpia Milano basketball team, the “Red Shoes,” as they are dubbed, claimed the Italian championship title on Friday evening, after winning a thrilling final game seven of the playoff against Siena. It is the first time in 18 years the Milan basketball team is league champion.

Leveraging American aces Curtis Jerrells, Keith Langford, David Moss and Gani Lawal and Italian Alessandro Gentile — who last week was drafted by the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and then traded to the Houston Rockets — the Milan team’s performance led Armani to rejoice, “Finally, after years of sacrifice finally rewarded,” according to media reports. He spoke during a celebration on the court, where he was surrounded by thousands of team supporters, the technical staff and the players. Armani’s long-standing passion and financial investments helped save the team, which had been on the verge of bankruptcy before he stepped in to back it.

This story first appeared in the July 1, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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