6 years after the bankruptcy declared in 2007, our Viola Reggio Calabria started over again from the minor leagues and today celebrates the return in Legadue (formerly A2), which next year will be divided into Gold and Silver.
20 years ago one of the best basketball player in the history of our team arrived in Reggio and joined Panasonic Viola.
This player is Dean Garrett. Hi Dean, it’s really a big pleasure for us hearing from you again. How are you and what are you doing now in your life?
Right now I’m living in Las Vegas and just enjoying life. Since I’ve retired from basketball I have done many different things. Now I’m just relaxing.
Let’s go back in the days, season 1990/1991. You arrived in Reggio from Forlì. The first season wasn’t really good, really unlucky and it ended with a relegation to the A2.
The following season however was a huge success, we won the championship and joined back the A1 league. Today we played against Ferrara, in March 1992 with your teammate Michael Young scoring 63 points we won in Ferrara against Cercom. What do you remember of that brilliant season?
That was a great season, I can remember how strong our team was, Michael was a great scorer and teammate. And after one year of playing together with all of my teammates everything just came together. That was a fun year.
Season 1992/1993, probably the best season ever in the history of Viola Reggio Calabria: Santoro, Sconochini, Bullara, Spangaro, Avenia, Rifatti, Giuliani, Volkov, Lorenzon, coaches Recalcati, Benedetto… and Dean Garrett. Probably the best team ever for our Viola.
This was THE season and 20 years after, we all still remember that date: 18th April 1993, quarter finals , game 3, against Benetton Treviso… 84-82, few seconds at the end, great pass by Donato Avenia and your last valid shot cancelled by referees.
An episode indelibly printed in our minds: everyone thinks that we could win the italian championship that year and that everything would have been different in the future. Since that day Treviso has been hated from all of us.
We guess you still remember all of that season and that terrible end of game 3, right?
I remember that game very well. Since I’m not in Italy anymore I guess it safe to say that I think the Refs cheated us that day. They did not want to see a team from Reggio play the next round. I do belive that team had a very good chance to win the Championship
Are you still in touch with your ex-teammates through social networks ?
Yes I still stay in touch with my teammates and also other friends that I had from Reggio. It is always good to see pictures of them and to say hello. All of this thanks to Facebook.
Which are your best memories in Reggio, in particular off the court? Tell us an episode, someone or something that you still remember.
Wow. My best memories would have to be after the games and going to La Sosta to celebrate with everyone. It always seem like the whole town was there and everyone was so happy that we won the games… But my favorite moment was coming back to Reggio to play against Panasonic when I played for Scavolini. I will never forget how everyone cheered for me and gave me standing ovation. That really meant a lot to me. Because I never wanted to leave Reggio and even tho I was not playing there the fans showed me how much I meant to them.
Next year Viola will play in Legadue Silver, do you want to give your special “good luck” ?
There would be nothing better than to see Viola basketball come back strong an be back in A-1. I know how much basketball means to the people of Reggio.
You know, our dream is to see all of you coming back to Reggio for a big event and reunion with all those players who made the history of Viola, celebrating it with a basketball match or just to meet all the fans in Reggio.We keep on loving basketball here and it would be great to meet you again.
I would love to come back to Reggio. I think about the fans and all of the friends that I have there. Reggio will always have a special place in my heart. The 3 years that I lived there will never be forgotten. I hope I can come back soon my friend!!
Thanks a lot Dean
Nino Romeo per Reggioacanestro.it