Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, Toronto Raptors
Maurizio Gherardini joined the Raptors in June 2006 as the club’s vice president and assistant general manager. He is the first European to hold a senior management position with an NBA franchise.
Gherardini was the general manager of Italy’s Benetton Treviso, where he established himself as one of the brightest minds and administrators in the history of European basketball. During his tenure, he built Benetton into one of the most recognizable basketball organizations outside the NBA.
In his 14 years with Benetton, his teams captured four League championships (1997, 2002, 2003 and 2006), seven Italian Cups (1993-95, 2000, 2003-05), three Italian Supercups (1997, 2001 and 2002), two Eurocups (1995 and 1999) and made four appearances in the Euroleague’s Final Four (1993, 1998, 2002, and 2003).
Under Gherardini’s guidance, Benetton became a training ground in Europe and a destination for NBA personnel to scout players. He organized basketball camps and clinics, including the first NBA coaches clinic in Europe. He also oversaw the Reebok Big Man camp and Reebok Eurocamp, where top European young players learned and competed, as well as the Treviso Summer League, which is the only event of its kind in Europe.
Gherardini’s influence gained him positions on the FIBA Sports Commission (1998-2000) and the Euroleague Board (2001-06). He also oversaw four editions of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders in Treviso.
Gherardini has been honoured as the La Gazzetta dello Sport Executive of the Year (2001) and the Legabasket Executive of the Year (2006), and won the FIBA Oscar Basketball Award “Pietro Reverberi” (2003) and GIBA Players Association Oscar Award (2004).
Gherardini started his basketball career playing in the youth leagues in Forli, Italy. He held the positions of assistant coach and director of youth teams for the Forli club from 1975-82. In 1982, he was promoted to general manager of the Forli entry that played in the top league (serie A). He remained in that capacity until 1992 when he joined Benetton.
Gherardini was born in Forli, Italy on September 22, 1955. He attended McCluer High School in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, as a foreign exchange student and graduated in 1973.
Gherardini and his wife, Luana, have two children: Michele (23) and Valentina (20).