NIAF Official Statement: Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo Joins Philadelphia 76ers as Special Advisor


Contact: Elissa Ruffino,


Attribute to Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq., National Italian American Foundation Chairman (NIAF) and John M. Viola, President

“On behalf of the National Italian American Foundation’s Board of Directors, we congratulate Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member and Chairman of the Board of Directors for USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo on being named special advisor to the managing partner and chairman of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers.

“As a Philadelphian, Joe extends to Jerry a special warm welcome to his hometown.

“Jerry has served as Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and has been one of the most respected and distinguished members of our board over the last decade. NIAF honored Colangelo with the Foundation’s Special Achievement Award in Sports during NIAF’s 21st Anniversary Awards Gala in our nation’s capital in 1996.

“We are extremely proud of Jerry’s accomplishments as chairman of the Board of Directors of USA Basketball and managing director of the newly-created USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program, which he re-established as one of the best in the world.  He also has made an immeasurable impact on the NBA having served as the chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors. It was Jerry’s vision, experience and acumen that helped guide the Arizona Diamondbacks to a World Series championship in 2001.  He also brought professional women’s basketball to the United States, while serving on the founding committee for the WNBA.

“We salute Jerry as a distinguished Italian American, passionate leader and a role model for all of us to follow.

“Bravissimo Jerry!  Congratulazione 76ers!”

Washington, D.C.  December 8, 2015

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit