Italy is just one of the European basketball team that participates in the Summer Olympics, specifically in the Olympic Games Basketball Tournament.
The Italy National Basketball Team is the team that is composed of the best players in Italy which represents the country in different basketball tournaments internationally and is administrated by the Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro, which means Italian Basketball Federation in English.
The Italy National Basketball Team participates in different international tournaments, such as the European Championships or otherwise called EuroBasket, FIBA World Championships, and the Summer Olympics. However, we will only tackle the achievements of the Italy National Team in the Summer Olympics. These Summer Olympics achievements will be discussed in detail in a little while.
The first four decades
The Italy National Basketball Team started participating in the Summer Olympics in the year 1936, which was also the year of the first appearance of the sport as an official medal event.
The 1936 Summer Olympics was held at Berlin, Germany where 23 nations joined the basketball competition, making basketball the largest tournament of all the team sports in the 1936 Summer Olympics. During their debut appearance in the basketball tournament, the team landed in the 7th.
The national basketball team of Italy did not participate in the two succeeding years (1940 and 1944) in the basketball tournament of the Summer Olympics. The next appearance of Italy in the Olympics was in 1948, where they only got the 17th place overall. Again, the team did not participate in the next two years (1952 and 1956).
In 1960, the Italian National team participated again because Italy was the host of the Summer Olympics then, where they ranked 4th overall. In the next years, the team would participate, however they would not make it to the finals. In the year 1964, they ended up at the 5th place, 8th place in 1968, 4th place again in 1972 and 5th place in 1976.
The Silver Medals
The first finals appearance of Italy in the Olympics was in the year 1980 at Olympiiski Indoor Stadium at Moscow. The Italy national basketball team reached the basketball finals competing with the Yugoslavian national team for the gold medal. Unfortunately, Italy was defeated by Yugoslavia with the score of 77 against 86.
The second and the last finals appearance of Italy in the Olympics was in 2004. The Summer Olympics in 2004 took place at the Helliniko Olympic Indoor Arena in Athens, Greece. The Italy national basketball team came face to face with the Argentina national team, however Italians were defeated by the Argentinians, that’s why the team ranked 2nd overall with the silver medal.
1984 and 2000
After the year of the first finals appearance of Italy in the Olympics, the Italian national basketball team still participated in the Summer Olympics. In the 1984 Olympics, the team ended up in the 5th place overall. However, after the 1984 Summer Olympics, the team did not participate in the next three years (1988, 1992 and 1996) of the Summer Olympics.
After the three consecutive years of being absent in the Summer Olympics, they finally showed up in the 2005 Olympics, ranking 5th overall. Again, in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Italy national basketball team did not participate.