2019 Class of FIBA Hall of Fame: Bogdan Tanjevic
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2019 Class of FIBA Hall of Fame: Bogdan Tanjevic

MIES (Switzerland) - Bogdan Tanjevic, a true coaching legend from the former Yugoslavia born in Montenegro, is being inducted into the 2019 class the FIBA Hall of Fame.

Tanjevic is a part of the 11 top basketball personalities, including Alonzo Mourning (USA), Fabricio Oberto (Argentina), Jiri Zidek (Czech Republic), Natalia Hejkova (Slovakia) and others, who were selected to the FIBA Hall of Fame from a wide list of more than 150 candidates. Tanjevic, born in Pljevlja in 1947, will become the first ever inductee from Montenegro.

The legendary coach started his play-calling career in his early 20s, leading the Yugoslavia team to the gold at the FIBA U18 European Championship in 1974 as a 27-year-old. He was already a known name by then, since he took over KK Bosna Sarajevo when he was 24 and took them to top flight of Yugoslavian basketball two seasons later.

His greatest club success came in 1979, when Bosna won the FIBA European Champions Cup in Grenoble, defeating Emerson Varese 96-93 in the Final, led by Zarko Varajic's 47 points, still a record for all European Cup and EuroLeague Finals.

"Bosna was the beginning of everything and the greatest achievement, going from the Second Yugoslav League all the way to the top of Europe. Without American players, without any foreign players, without the option to bring in already formed players, we had to do everything with our own hands. That is something unreachable now, and that has been a 'burden' to me throughout my life. All my life, I've been dreaming of Bosna and that miraculous result," Tanjevic said in an interview with Al Jazeera in 2017.

The love of KK Bosna is also the reason why he always insisted he was a Montenegrin by birth, but Sarajevan by choice. In 46 years of coaching, Bosa won three Yugoslav titles - two with Bosna, one with Buducnost Podgorica - to go along with two Turkish League titles with Fenerbahce, French League title with ASVEL, Italian League title with Olimpia Milano, and four more national Cup trophies.

But the best evidence of Tanjevic's longevity at the top level are his national team successes. Medals and titles span from 1974 all the way to 2010. He led Italy to the FIBA EuroBasket title in 1999, Yugoslavia to the runners-up spot at a similar event in 1981, and then coached Turkey to their biggest success to date, when they reached the Final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2010.

He retired from coaching in 2017, but still has the will and the strength to remain in basketball.

"I will be back in basketball, most definitely, as an advisor, as a coordinator of sorts. That is like a specialty of people from (ex-Yugoslavia), we can see the future better, we can assume who will become a great player, and who will not," Tanjevic explained.

Name Bogdan Tanjevic
Category of inductee Coach
Date of birth February 13, 1947
Place of birth Pljevlja, Montenegro
Nationality Montenegrin/Bosnian-Herzegovinian/Italian
  • KK Bosna (1971-80)
  • Yugoslav U18 national team (1974)
  • Yugoslav national team (1980-82)
  • Juventus Caserta (1982-86)
  • Pallacanestro Trieste (1986-94)
  • Olimpia Milano (1994-96)
  • Limoges CSP (1996-97)
  • Italian national team (1997-2000)
  • KK Buducnost Podgorica (2001)
  • ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (2001-02)
  • Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna (2002)
  • Turkish national team (2003-12)
  • Fenerbahce (2007-10)
  • Montenegrin national team (2015-17)
Coaching highlights
  • FIBA European Junior Championship gold medalist with Yugoslavia (1974)
  • Three-time Yugoslav League Champion (1978, 1980, 2001)
  • Yugoslav Basketball Cup Champion (1978)
  • FIBA European Champions' Cup winner with KK Bosna (1979)
  • FIBA EuroBasket silver medalist with Yugoslavia (1981)
  • Italian LegaBasket Serie A (LBA) Champion (1996)
  • Italian Basketball Cup Champion (1996)
  • FIBA EuroBasket gold medalist with Italy (1999)
  • French League (LNB) Champion (2002)
  • Two-time Turkish Basketball League (TBL) Champion (2008, 2010)
  • Mediterranean Games bronze medalist with Turkey (2009)
  • Turkish Basketball Cup Champion (2010)
  • FIBA Basketball World Cup silver medalist with Turkey (2010)
  • Mediterranean Games gold medalist with Turkey (2013)
  • Games of the Small States of Europe gold medalist with Montenegro (2015)
Individual highlights
  • FIBA U18 European Championship silver medalist as a player (1966)
  • Inducted into the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame (2016)

 The 2019 Class will be enshrined into FIBA's Hall of Fame during a special ceremony taking place in Beijing, China, on August 30, on the eve of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 tipping off.