Then-University of Kentucky basketball coach Rick Pitino announced shortly after winning the 1996 NCAA men’s basketball championship that he would launch a line of pasta in the Kentucky area. At the time, Pitino lamented the lack of authentic Italian food in the Bluegrass State. When the brand launched in 1998, Pitino was running the Boston Celtics and the pasta’s market increased to include all of New England. Pasta was one of several side businesses for Pitino whose interests ranged from writing books to owning thoroughbred horses.
( C ) NBA/Celtics (photo by Heritage Werks)