I’m slowly reading through Michael Litos book and this week I came across an interesting excerpt about Hoftra’s basketball uniforms that I wanted to share. While I’m not someone who cares much about what uniforms look like I do care about the business aspect of college hoops so this anecdote caught my attention:
It was no suprise that the uniforms, despite the bruised and cut bodies of the players who wore them, looked slick. the blue background sets off a gold and white-trimmed Hofstra flag across the front of the uniforms. The numbers are a pointy font not seen in most uniforms and trimmed in gold. While most NCAA teams get jerseys from Nike or Adidas or whomever else provides the team its shoes, not Pecora.
Hofstra gets new uniforms – home and road, as well as practice uniforms and coaches wear – designed, produced and sent to Hempstead from the little town of Aprille, which is located just outside of Milan, Italy. Nando Diablasi, who grew up in Queens, does the honors. Diablasi’s father was a master tailor in Manhattan and relocated the family back to Italy when Nando was fourteen years old.
Pecora was introduced to Diablasi by Bob Oliva, a legendary head coach at New York’s Christ the King High school. Diablasi makes it back to the United States to visit with Pecora three or four times each year, including at the Final Four.
After reading about Michigan spurning Nike for Adidas earlier this month it was great to read about a college who doesn’t make turning a profit their top priority when it comes to their basketball program.