MEMORIES OF A BASKETBALL LIFE

Photo by Aykut Akici/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Basketball in general and European basketball culture in particular have lost a true legend of the game. One of the most influential and highly decorated coaches in history, Dušan Ivković has passed away at the age of 78. He dedicated an astonishing 58 of those years to the game he loved, either as a professional player or as a coach.

When ‘Duda’ coached the final game of an unparalleled career in 2016, current and former players, colleagues, and coaches came together to celebrate his contributions to the European game. The list of attendees was nothing short of an assembly of basketball royalty and the outpouring of praise and gratitude for the role Ivković had played in their professional as well as their personal lives was overwhelming.

Dušan Ivković’s basketball legacy includes seven national titles, numerous national cup wins, a Kora´c Cup, and two EuroLeague titles. Coaching the Yugoslavian and Serbian national teams, he added three European titles and a world championship to his résumé. However, the legendary coach will be remembered for more than the titles he won. His legacy and his teachings live on in the legendary players and coaches he’s influenced throughout the six decades he gave to the game.

A member of the FIBA Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 2017) and the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors (2008), Coach Ivković was officially named a ‘EuroLeague Basketball Legend’ upon his retirement in 2017. The thing is … he already had been for decades. He will be dearly missed.

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