Under 35: Andrea Fanzini founder of DKB Darwin Knew Basketball


Andrea Fanzini Social Media Manager FA – Marketing, Events, Social Media

CEO e Founder di DKB Darwin Knew Basketball

Ph Credits Andrea Fanzini

1) Hi Andrea, a past as a footballer and now basketball, how is born the passion for this sport?

Well, to be honest a past as humble footballer, a passion that I carry on, indeed I divide my time between football, as coach of the Under 16, Communication Manager of U.S. Fiorenzuola in Serie D, and street-basketball.
It all began when I was about 13-14 years and I started hanging out with friends who played basketball, I was the “black swan” of the group. We often met at Piazzale Darwin in Fiorenzuola, where there is a basketball court, since then I have started shooting a basketball, even though I had never done a basketball training before in my life.
DKB was born a couple of years later and all the while I began working as Head of Communication of basketball clubs, Piacenza Basket Club thanks to Marco Sambugaro, now DS of Pistoia Basket, who trusted me, UCC Assigeco Piacenza and recently the Fiorenzuola Bees.

2) You are one of the founders of DKB Darwin Knew Basketball, a landmark for 3×3 streetball tournaments in Emilia Romagna, how did you conceive this idea?

Me and Filippo Antozzi, a childhood friend, came up with the idea in the third year of high school, we talked about the possibility of creating our tournament. He was already a basketball player in the youth team of our city, I was starting to shoot the first “bank shots ” at Piazzale, and the idea was born in the meantime.
I can tell you a tidbit about the name … One afternoon we were talking about it: ” Where do we arrange the tournament? At Darwin, clearly! (D) … ”. ” What do we do? ”, ” Well, Basketball(B), Streetball still wasn’t in our plans. We were looking for an acronym that was captivating, made up of 3 letters. You can’t imagine how long it took and how was painful to give birth to K, last letter.

3) If I asked you to make a recap, what have been the most important steps of DKB from its birth until now?

I believe that the most important step was gathering our staff.
What you see in last year photos is a group put together over the editions, which physiologically has undergone turnover, but everyone has been important. I should write a long list of names, but I just tell you that on the 4th edition we welcomed Alessandro Verbini on a permanent basis, alongside me and Filippo. He is a milestone for the organization, because he is a person who bends over backwards and has given his contribution with passion and reliability so far.
Last year I saw a strong organization during the tournament; basically I tend to be a perfectionist, but if in the previous years I wanted and had to schedule times, I must say that at DKB 12 the staff reached a truly remarkable level of organization. Not to be taken for granted, considering that the average age of the staff is 25 years. In perspective it means a lot to me.
Social Media gave us a considerable boost in the early years; we were among the first ones in the area to experiment with this channel, to keep ahead of events. We added creativity, perseverance and organization during the event, because you can make the most beautiful ” bow ” in the world, but without concreteness in the tournament everything gets lost.
Since the eighth edition (five years ago) we have experienced a dizzying growth, entering the list of those 3×3 events of which, even if you have never been, you have at least heard or seen a t-shirt or a gadget. This perhaps is the result of “not having given up” and having gained experience from things done well and done badly, from which to learn even more.
We are a local reality, it is essential to be able to be different, for better or for worse, because it is not our purpose to compete with other tournaments and we know where we are, a non-metropolitan reality. Our goals are to expand our brand by one side and the streetball movement on the other.

The dunker Christon Staples, credits DKB


4) You hosted personalities in the world of basketball and famous dunkers like Christon Staples, what was the most exciting moment of these years?

This is a beautiful question that floors me. Each time DKB comes to an end I collect strong memories of the evenement, emotions related to people (even famous) that I meet, connections with players, public and pride for what seems impossible to do before but thanks to the help of the whole family comes true.
If I have to share the best show moments, I could tell you when Kader Kam made me sit on the car door of a Mini without the roof, keeping a ball on his head, and he jumped over me and Mini, or last year on Saturday evening when a flood of people overwhelmed the square, to join the Dunk Contest and collateral events. A great party.
But the most exciting moment is on Friday morning, the first day of DKB.
Do you know when preparations for the event are in full effect? There! The atmosphere that we start feeling, even if things aren’t perfect, but that atmosphere is truly the spirit of DKB.
Do you know when you feel like to be in a bubble? It’s like that.
To use an expression coined by our friend Marco ” Mugen ”, that’s when you realize why DKB is a State of Mind.

5) Every year DKB tries to bring changes, involving local organizations. What are the next goals?

Yes, I have to say that the idea is to not stop that bubble I was talking about above.
First of all we want to challenge ourselves, because basically I believe that those who offer something to third parties, first are challenging themselves.
We should understand if and when the growth will no longer be possible then we should reflect about stabilization. But I don’t consider this phase in my head at the moment, so you should also ask others their thoughts …
I believe that the goal in the near future is to be able to reflect together. We are not the only tournament in Italy, indeed, there is a lot of streetball around and I joined great and interesting events.
I think it is essential to share skills, knowledge with other organizations. In this way, by combining elements, we might create an essential know-how.
In addition to this I believe that we shouldn’t shut ourselves off; history shows that internationally we reached a peak with the Italy Women’s National Basketball Team in 2018, but several countries are further ahead at the moment.
Opening up to experiences and to the 3×3 movement even abroad, expanding knowledge and bringing them back to our system with consistency, competence and above all the typical Italian creativity, well, it could be a good way to reduce the gap.

Here is the recap of DKB 2019

Concerning the feature Under 35, last week Fabrizio Fasanella, editor for Superbasket, related his experience

Chiara Mezzini
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