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05 October, 2023
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Dusan Ivkovic: The basketball teacher

The legendary coach died today, he was 77


Basketball teacher Dusan Ivkovic has died at the age of 77 in a Belgrade hospital with lung and heart problems.

Greece came to know him in 1980 when he succeeded Giannis Ioannidis on the bench of Aris.  However, his "chemistry" with Nikos Galis was not good and the Serbian coach left two years later.
AP Photo / Petr David Josek

He returns to Yugoslavia to take over Sibenka with then 18-year-old Drazen Petrovic.  He leads them to the Korats Cup final.

In 1991 he takes over PAOK, which has already won Winners' Cup and is looking for a Greek championship.  He wins it in 1992 at Olympiakos, and reaches the Cup final again but was defeated by Real.

A year later, he leads PAOK to the Final 4 in Athens, but Kukots' Benetton is crowned European champion.  In 1994, Ivkovic left.

He then takes over Panionios, which he leads to the Euroleague for the first time.  In 1996 he goes to Olympiakos and leads them to their first European championship in history (1997), all in all winning a cup and a Greek championship (1996-97).

At AEK in 2000 he wins the Saporta Cup and in 2002 he takes over CSKA.  In 2010 he takes over Olympiakos again and two years later he wins his second European championship against CSKA and the championship against Panathinaikos.


For Yugoslavia, Ivkovic was one of the "totems" of basketball as he highlighted the large generation of players such as Petrovic, Divac, Kukoc, Raja, Paspali, Brankovic, Danilovic, Bodiroga, Stojakovic and Djordulovic.

In 1990 with Yugoslavia he wins the gold medal at the World Cup.  He wins the Eurobasket in 1989, 1991, 1995.  And the silver medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

In 2017 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Basketball Federation and was honored with the "Euroleague Legend" award by the Euroleague.


European basketball bids farewell to Dusan Ivkovic

Panathinaikos were among the first clubs to bid farewell to Dusan Ivkovic:

"KAE Panathinaikos OPAP bids farewell with deep sadness and emotion to one of the greatest personalities of European basketball, Dusan Ivkovic. "We express our sincere condolences to the family of one of the 'top teachers' of the sport", they announced. 

European clubs also honored the legendary "Duda": "Dusan Ivkovic has passed away. "Rest in peace legend", was the message from Zalgiris.

"One of the most successful coaches - RIP", said Bayern Munich .

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