Dražen "Praja" Dalipagić is a Yugoslav-Serbian retired professional basketball player and head coach. He was selected the best athlete of Yugoslavia in the year 1978, is one of the most decorated athletes in Yugoslavian history, he was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991. Dalipagić was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2004, into the FIBA Hall of Fame as a player, in 2007. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors. During his professional playing career, he scored at least 50 points in a game 15 times, his single-game career scoring high was 70 points scored, achieved during an Italian League game, between Venezia and Virtus Bologna, on 25 January, 1987. He was nicknamed "The Sky Jumper". Dalipagić started playing basketball at the age of 19, one year he signed his first professional contract with Partizan, in 1971, he stayed in Partizan for eight seasons, until 1980. Over that time, he won the Mr. Europa European Player of the Year award twice, in 1977 and 1978, the European Player of the Year Euroscar award in 1980.
He was declared the best athlete of Yugoslavia in 1978. In the 1975–76 season, he led Partizan to the Yugoslav League title, to the European-wide 3rd-tier level FIBA Korać Cup title, in the 1977–78 season, he was a member of Partizan, at the time when they won the 1978–79 season Korać Cup title, but he was serving in the Yugoslav army at the time. In the 1980–81 season, he went abroad for the first time in his career. During that season, he played of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A league. After just one season with Venezia, he returned to his former club, for one season. In the following seasons, he played for numerous European teams, including Real Madrid, of the Spanish Primera División, during the 1982–83 season, in which he only played with the club in FIBA European Champions Cup games, he played with Reyer Venezia, Glaxo Verona of the Italian League. He finished his professional career after the 1990–91 season, in which he played with Partizan's arch-rivals, Crvena zvezda; as a Partizan Belgrade player, he scored 8,278 points, in 305 games played, for a scoring average of 27.1 points per game.
While playing in Italy, he scored 7,993 points in 241 games played, for a scoring average of 33.2 points per game. He led the Italian League in scoring average, in the 1987–88 season, with an average of 37.7 points per game. Dalipagić debuted for senior the Yugoslavian national basketball team, in 1973. In total, he played in 243 games with Yugoslavia's senior national team, between 1973 and 1986, scoring a total of 3,700 points, the most points scored by any player in the history of the Yugoslav national team, he won the gold medal at the 1978 FIBA World Championship, the gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics. As a member of the Yugoslavian national team, he won three gold medals at the EuroBasket, his four medals won at the FIBA World Cup is tied for the all-time international basketball record. A three-time Olympian, Dalipagić was instrumental in the Yugoslavian team's capturing of the gold, at the 1980 Summer Olympics. Dalipagić finished high school at the Technical School in Mostar, graduated from the Teachers College in Belgrade.
He is married to former Yugoslav tennis player. They have two children and Davorin. Yugoslav First Federal Basketball League career stats leaders List of flag bearers for Yugoslavia at the Olympics Dražen Dalipagić at Basketball-Reference.com Dražen Dalipagić at the Basketball Hall of Fame Dražen Dalipagić at the FIBA Hall of Fame Dražen Dalipagić at the Interbasket.net Dražen Dalipagić FIBA Europe Profile Dražen Dalipagić Italian League Profile Euroleague.net 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors
Arvydas Romas Sabonis Lithuanian pronunciation: . Recognized as one of the best European players of all time, he won the Euroscar six times, the Mr. Europa Award twice, he played in a variety of leagues, spent seven seasons in the National Basketball Association, in the United States. Playing the center position, Sabonis won a gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics, in South Korea, for the Soviet Union, earned bronze medals at the 1992 Olympic Games and 1996 Olympic Games, while representing Lithuania, he retired from professional basketball in 2005. Sabonis was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers, in the first round of the 1986 NBA draft, but he did not play his first NBA game until the age of 31, in 1995. Sabonis is considered one of the best big man passers, as well as one of the best overall centers, in the history of the game. Bill Walton once called Sabonis, "a 7 ft 3 in Larry Bird", due to his unique court vision, shooting range, rugged in-game mentality, versatility. On August 20, 2010, Sabonis was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame, in recognition of his great play in international competition.
On April 4, 2011, Sabonis was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he was inducted on August 12, 2011. At that time, he was the tallest player to enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. On October 24, 2011, Sabonis was voted as the next President of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, replacing Vladas Garastas, who had led the LBF since 1991, he resigned from the position on October 2, 2013, but came back to it on October 10, 2013. Born in Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union, Sabonis began playing basketball at age 13. By the time he was 15 years old, he was a member of the Soviet national junior team. Sabonis escaped conscription to the Soviet Army, by enrolling at the Lithuanian University of Agriculture, in his hometown. Sabonis made his professional club debut in 1981, with one of the oldest basketball teams in Lithuania, Žalgiris, in his hometown of Kaunas. With the club, he won three consecutive Soviet Premier League titles, the 1986 FIBA Club World Cup.
In 1989, Sabonis left Žalgiris, signed with the Spanish Liga ACB club Fórum Valladolid. In 1992, after playing with Fórum Valladolid for three seasons, Sabonis joined Spanish club Real Madrid, with them, he won two Spanish League titles, a EuroLeague title, in 1995. During the 1994–95 regular season with Real Madrid, he averaged 22.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocked shots, 2.4 assists per game. Sabonis was selected by the Atlanta Hawks, with the 77th overall pick, of the 1985 NBA draft. However, the selection was voided; the following spring, he suffered a devastating Achilles' tendon injury. He was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers, with the 24th overall pick of the 1986 NBA draft. Sabonis was not allowed to play in the US, despite LSU Tigers head coach Dale Brown's plans to have Sabonis studying and playing at Louisiana State University, thus keeping him in an amateur status. However, he did go to Portland, to rehabilitate his injury with the Blazers medical staff, in 1988, while practicing with the team.
After the 1994–95 European season and Portland contacted one another about a move to the NBA. Before signing Sabonis, Portland's then-general manager, Bob Whitsitt, asked the Blazers team physician to look at Sabonis' X-rays. Illustrating the impact of Sabonis' numerous injuries, Whitsitt recalled in a 2011 interview, that when the doctor reported the results, "He said that Arvydas could qualify for a handicapped parking spot, based on the X-ray alone." The Blazers signed Sabonis. He had a successful rookie campaign, averaging 14.5 points, on 55% shooting, 8.1 rebounds per game, while playing less than 24 minutes per game. Sabonis was selected to the All-Rookie First Team, was runner-up in both Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year voting, his postseason averages went up to 10.2 rebounds per game. In the first playoff series of his NBA career, Portland lost in five games. Sabonis averaged 16.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game, in 1997–98, all career-highs. During Sabonis' first leg in Portland, the Blazers always made the playoffs.
Kenny Anderson and Isaiah Rider were traded for Steve Smith. In both those years, the Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals; the question that surrounds Sabonis' NBA career revolves around how good he could have been, had he played in the NBA during his prime. Sabonis was nearly 31 when he joined the Blazers, by which time he had won multiple gold medals, suffered through numerous injuries, had lost much of his mobility and athleticism. In Bill Simmons' "Book of Basketball", Arvydas Sabonis the international player is idealized, while Arvydas Sabonis the Blazer, is described as "lumbering up and down the court in what looked to be concrete Nikes", ranking "just behind Artis Gilmore on the Moving Like a Mummy Scale." In
Otar Korkia was a Georgian professional basketball player and coach. Korkia trained at Dynamo in Tbilisi, he was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991. Korkia was a member of the senior Soviet Union national basketball team, which won the silver medal at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games, he played in seven games. Korkia was the head coach of Dinamo Tbilisi, when the club won the European Champions Cup in 1962. USSR League: 1950, 1953, 1954 USSR Cup: 1949, 1950 EuroBasket: 1947, 1951, 1953 EuroLeague: 1962 List of EuroLeague-winning head coaches FIBA Profile FIBA Europe Profile Databaseolympics.com Profile
Radivoj Korać, sometimes Radivoje, was a Yugoslav professional basketball player. He represented the Yugoslavia national basketball team internationally. Korać is well known for holding the EuroLeague's all-time single-game scoring record, at 99 points scored, in a game versus Alvik Basket, during the 1964–65 season, for once making 100 out of 100 free throws on a live television show in Belgium. Korać died in a car crash in 1969, at the age of 30, FIBA Europe established the European-wide third-tier level FIBA Radivoj Korać Cup, in his remembrance, in 1971. Korać was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991. In 2002, the Basketball Federation of Serbia named its top national domestic cup competition, the Radivoj Korać Cup, after him, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007, was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors the following year. Korać was born in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, he started playing for OKK Beograd, at the age of 16, played as a left-handed forward-center.
Popularly nicknamed, Žućko, he became one of the best, if not the best, player of the Yugoslav League in the 1960s. In 1960, Korać was named The Best Athlete of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav Sportsman of the Year, he was the best scorer of the Yugoslav League for seven seasons, a record, he had a career scoring average in the Yugoslav league of 32.7 points per game. He reached various FIBA European Champions' Cup competitions with OKK Beograd. Korać was named a part of the best European selection, in both 1964 and 1965. In a two-game playoff series against Swedish League champions Alvik Basket, during the 1964–65 season of the FIBA European Champions' Cup, he scored 170 points, he scored 71 points in the first game of the series, 99 points in the second game of the series, for a series scoring average of 85 points per game. Korać entered into the senior Yugoslavian national basketball team in 1958, went on to win five silver medals, one bronze medal with them, in a total of 157 international games, he was the EuroBasket's Top Scorer 4 times, was named the MVP of EuroBasket 1961.
He won the silver medal at both the 1963 FIBA World Championship, the 1967 FIBA World Championship. He was the Top Scorer of the 1960 Summer Olympic Games, he won the silver medal at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. With Yugoslavia's senior men's national team, he had 157 caps, scored 3,153 points, for a scoring average of 20.1 points per game. Away from the basketball court, Korać enjoyed theatre and reading books, he was a senior undergraduate, from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, at the University of Belgrade. He once turned down a contract offer to play with Red Star Belgrade. On Monday 2 June 1969, Korać died in a car crash, just outside of Sarajevo, on the road between Vogošća and Semizovac; the Yugoslav Basketball Federation decided that no basketball games would be played in Yugoslavia, on the 2nd of June again. In 1971, FIBA Europe established the FIBA Radivoj Korać Cup. After the third-tier level European-wide Cup folded in the year 2002, the basketball federation of Serbia and Montenegro renamed its national domestic cup competition to Kup Radivoja Koraća, a name it still carries today in Serbia.
In 2011, Serbian biopic and semi-documentary film, Ginger: More Than a Game, Korać is portrayed by Vladimir Aleksić. The film tells the story of his life. In 2015, Serbian sports drama, We Will Be the World Champions, Korać is portrayed by Dejan Dedić. Dedić reprised his role in the 2016 Serbian TV series Prvaci sveta. FIBA Korać Cup Yugoslavia national basketball team Radivoj Korać Cup Yugoslav First Federal Basketball League career stats leaders OKKBelgrade Hall Of Fame - Official Web Site of OKKBelgrade* FIBA Hall Of Fame Page On Korać Euroleague.net 50 Greatest Contributors FIBAEurope.com Profile Сећање на легендарног стрелца, RTS, June 1, 2009
Anatoly Dmitriyevich Myshkin is a retired Soviet and Russian professional basketball player and coach. At 6 feet 9 1⁄2 inches tall, a weight of 210 lbs. he played as a combo forward. Myshkin was able to break up all of the defensive schemes in European basketball, due to his unique skill set, he was mobile and aggressive, he possessed the speed and versatility to beat any defender. He was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991, he was among the 105 player nominees for the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors list. He was nicknamed, "The Prince". While playing with CSKA Moscow, Myshkin won eight consecutive Soviet Union League titles, from 1977 to 1984. Though his team was a FIBA European Champions Cup regular, Myshkin never had the chance to play for the European-wide top-tier level continental title; as a member of the senior Soviet Union national team, Myshkin led them to back-to-back EuroBasket gold medals at the EuroBasket 1979 and the EuroBasket 1981. He won the gold medal at the 1982 FIBA World Championship, in Colombia.
Following his retirement, Myshkin became a coach, he coached the clubs CSKA Moscow, Arsenal Tula, Universitet Surgut, Dynamo Kursk. In 2013, he became the head coach of the Russian women's national basketball team. Euroleague.net Profile Fibaeurope.com Profile Evans, Hilary. "Anatoly Myshkin". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC
Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball player. Considered as one of the greatest international players, he was one of the first Europeans to become a regular in the National Basketball Association. On August 8, 2014, Marčiulionis was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015. In the 1988 Summer Olympics, together with teammate Arvydas Sabonis, Marčiulionis led the senior USSR national team to the gold medal. With the senior Lithuanian national team, he won two Summer Olympics bronze medals, in 1992 and 1996, he was an All-Tournament Team member, the top scorer, the MVP of the EuroBasket 1995, he was elected to the All-EuroBasket Team in 1987. Marčiulionis is credited with bringing the Euro step move to the NBA. Marčiulionis was the second son of Laimutė, a geography teacher, Juozas, an engineer. Given that Laimutė aggravated her spinal injury, while giving birth to his sister Zita, her determination in having a son led to the middle name Šarūnas, invoking a legendary knight from Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius's works.
Growing up in Kaunas, Marčiulionis took up tennis while growing up, being an ambidextrous player, focused on forehands. Given his unorthodox technique, an bulky frame, he gave up on the sport. At the age of 13, following a hospitalization, caused by makeshift explosives, Marčiulionis changed to the sport of basketball. In the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, he and his friends had to build their own outdoor basketball court on a parking lot; as he moved to Vilnius, to study journalism at Vilnius State University of Vincas Kapsukas, try out for the Soviet junior national team, all Marčiulionis' parents could provide him was, "one bag containing a small amount of clothes, another full of apples.” While Marčiulionis attended college, he played basketball, but he attracted a scout from Statyba, of the USSR Premier League, in 1981. He would play with Statyba, in the USSR League, from 1981 to 1989. During a 1985 game against Athletes in Action, in Vilnius, Marčiulionis struck a friendship with one of the opponent players, Donnie Nelson, despite the language barrier.
Nelson's father, Don Nelson would be the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, what he said about Marčiulionis' skills led the Warriors to draft him, in the 6th round of the 1987 NBA draft. Stan Kasten and general manager of the Atlanta Hawks, managed to void the pick, by showing Marčiulionis was age 23, one year older than the age the draft rules limited for European players; the Hawks pursued Marčiulionis using then-owner Ted Turner's connections with the Soviet Union, inviting him and other Soviet players to their training camp, arranging for Hawks-USSR matches in Moscow, in 1988. While Marčiulionis signed a contract with Atlanta, the day after he won the gold medal in Seoul, the team wound up not submitting it to the National Basketball Association's offices, as the Soviets said they would not permit the player to leave. Nelson's influence helped Marčiulionis with his social projects in Vilnius, led him to remain with the Warriors, with whom he signed a three-year $3.8 million contract, in 1989.
Marčiulionis became the first Soviet player to join the North American league, played four years with the Warriors, finishing as the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1992. Marčiulionis became one of the first Europeans to get significant playing time in the NBA, helping to lead the way for the internationalization of the league in the late 1990s. After missing a year-and-a-half with a leg injury, he was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics, in 1994 traded to the Sacramento Kings, in 1995, he finished his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets, in the 1996–97 season. In 1982 and 1983, Marčiulionis played sparingly with the Soviet juniors, he won a silver medal at the 1983 FIBA Under-19 World Cup, in Spain. Marčiulionis was the last man cut from the senior Soviet Union national basketball team training camps, until he got his chance with the senior team in 1987, having a breakout performance, while winning a silver medal at the EuroBasket 1987. Marčiulionis would be one of the standout players, as the Soviets won the gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Following the restoration of Lithuanian independence, in 1990, Marčiulionis single-handed resurrected the senior Lithuanian national team. He contacted prospective players, encouraged several to join, selected the uniforms, negotiated a shoe deal, arranged for sponsorships, along with friend Donnie Nelson. Sponsor deals struck by him included Bank of America and the rock band Grateful Dead, who were interested in supporting Lithuania, after reading a story on Marčiulionis and the national team, in the San Francisco Chronicle; the Grateful Dead helped launch a line of tie-dyed jerseys, that would feature Lithuania's national colors, along with a slam dunking skeleton, created by New York artist Greg Speirs. Speirs became a major sponsor, when he donated 100% of his profits from his design, to fund the team, to Lithuanian children's charities, amounting to at least $450,000; the team went on to win a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Marčiulionis was again a bronze medalist with Lithuania, at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
In 1995, he was named the MVP of the 1995 FIBA EuroBasket, after leading Lithuania to a silver medal in the tournament. In 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, he was voted the best sportsman in Lithuania. With language barriers, Marčiulionis was a devoted teammate, active in the communities he played in. In 1987, he helped a Panevėžys man get an artificial