In Italian Basketball, the Serie A is the highest level club. Today there are 18 teams competing in the highest level of play. Many sports fans are surprised to find that basketball is very popular in Italy. Known as Pallacanestro, Italian basketball is constantly growing and has a history of attracting some of the best players in the world. In fact, not only has basketball been played in Italy for over a century but has had a professional league decades before the formation of the NBA.