On September 9, 2018, Danilo Gallinari officially opened the first basketball court fully refurbished as part of the We PlayGround Together project, with the support of Sisal Group. The initiative has a mission to refurbish neighbourhood basketball courts in Milan, so that they once again act as places for real social interaction, attracting enthusiasts across the board and making sure everyone has fun. The idea has got off the ground thanks to the commitment and determination of Danilo Gallinari, one of the world’s most famous Italian basketball players, in partnership with the Milan Municipal Council Sports Department.
In describing his relationship with sport, the famous basketball player revealed the central role played by technology:
“The use of technology in the world of basketball has evolved in all directions since I started playing, both medically and to monitor our performance statistics.
At the outset, 10 years ago, it already felt like we were living in the future when they performed physical tests at the start of the year to see our improvement during the season, but today everything is much more evolved and functional.
In recent seasons, we’ve been training with sensors that keep perfect track of how we use our bodies. For example, at the end of a training session, they can tell me if I used the right leg more than the left, if I ran more backwards or forwards, or if I stopped while running and if so for how many seconds. They know exactly what my body does and what training I need the next day, so we decide together whether to add load or keep it steady.
There’s an incredible amount of data for the team to analyse. And not just about me, but all my teammates, and if you multiply that by all the players in the NBA, and then by all the championships in the world, just thinking about it makes you feel like you’re living in Matrix.
It’s getting easier for me to understand this data with the trainers, although it wasn’t easy at first to figure out what it all really means. But once you’ve learned to match technological data with physical sensations, everything is easier.
In our sport, technology isn’t only used to monitor our physical condition, but also plays a very important role in assessing our playing statistics and preparing our training sessions.
Team meetings and market session interviews are based on shooting data, ball possession and many other statistics I didn’t know even existed.
One very cool thing we have in the gym is a sensor installed near the basket that monitors the shooting parabola and the ball’s trajectory. We use this information during training sessions to make sure our shooting technique is always the same and the right one to score baskets.
We’ve also seen a great deal of technological development in the materials used for balls, playing surfaces, shirts and shoes. But where footwear is concerned, every player has their own preference for low or high shoes. There isn’t a hard and fast rule about the best technological developments, it’s a question of sensations, most importantly in terms of the soles and how they rebound off the parquet, which generally speaking changes from one court to the next.
There’s no doubt that however you look at it, the relationship between sport and technology is a very important one; technology has developed new playing techniques and new training dynamics, helping us grow each and every day.”