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Nebojša Popovic (Serbia)
Born on February Thursday, 1923, in in Irig, Vojvodina, Serbia.
Nationality:
Serbia

Enshrined as a contributor in the FIBA Hall of Fame on March Thursday, 2007.

Highlights

  • His family moved to Rijeka (Croatia) when he was a child and Popovic started his sports career as a water polo goalkeeper in Sušak
  • He fell in love with basketball when he saw legendary water polo player Božo Grkinic shooting some basketballs
  • Co-Founded Red Star Belgrade Basketball Club (number 1 membership card): 1945
  • Was both a player and the first head coach in the history of Red Star Belgrade: 1945-1951. Head coach of Red Star: 1952-1955. Between 1946 and 1955, Popovic was 10 consecutive times Champion of the Yugoslav League
  • Head coach of Red Star’s Women Team: 1946-1952. 7 consecutive times Champion of the Yugoslav Women’s League
  • Player of Gallatarese (Italy) during four months: December 1951-March 1952
  • 39 appearances with the Yugoslavian National Team as a player (1946-1952): participated in the Buenos Aires 1950 World Championship, in the 1947 European Championship in Prague and in 3 Balkan Championships (1946 in Bucarest, 1947 in Tirana and 1948 in Sofia)
  • Head coach of the Yugoslavian National Team in the 1953 European Championship in Moscow and in the Rio de Janeiro 1954 World Championship
  • Secretary General of the Yugoslavian Olympic Committee
  • Technical commissioner of FIBA during 35 years
  • Popovic was a true precursor: he was the first one who brought foreign coaches to Yugoslavia and to develop a broad contact with the U.S. basketball
  • Executive of JRT, the Yugoslav national TV channel: covered four Olympic Games with JRT and, in addition, was the correspondent for “La Gazzetta dello Sport” for over four decades
  • President of the Commission for International Competitions of FIBA
  • President of the Basketball Federation of Belgrade
  • President of the Serbian Basketball Federation: 1982-1983
  • President of the Yugoslavian Basketball Federation: 1985-1987 

Distinctions & Recognitions

  • FIBA Order of Merit in 1997
  • Prize “Sports & Universality”, awarded by the IOC