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Gallinari helps make wish come true for Italian fan

Denver Nuggets forward plays host to teenager battling leukemia


When Gaetano Amore walked through the door to the Nuggets locker room, he expected to see a bunch of empty chairs.

Instead, he was left speechless when he was greeted by his idol Danilo Gallinari.

“It’s a great surprise,” the teenager later said. “It’s incredible.”

Amore, 18, met Gallinari briefly in 2008 when Gallinari played professionally for Olimpia Milano in the top Italian league. They were reunited this week when Amore and his parents flew to Denver as guests of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Amore, an avid basketball player, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 and was unable to walk while going through intensive chemotherapy treatment.

Now on his feet again, Amore made the 25-hour trip from Sommatino in the Sicily region of Italy to Colorado.

“It was my greatest dream,” Amore said. “I’m very happy for it.”

In addition to receiving a personal tour from Gallinari of the Nuggets locker room, weight room and practice court, Amore attended the team shootaround Friday and then watched Denver play the Utah Jazz at Pepsi Center.

Gallinari, now in his fifth NBA season, is looking forward to seeing Amore back on the basketball court this summer back in Italy.

“(My recovery) is going well,” Amore said. “I will play after the cure.”