Dusan Ivkovic, the former Serbian basketball coach who led then-Yugoslavia to the world title in 1990 and won two EuroLeague titles with Greek club Olympiakos, has died. He was 77 years old.
The Serbian Basketball Federation reported that Ivkovic died on Thursday, while Serbian media reported that the former coach died in a Belgrade hospital from lung failure.
Ivkovic led Argentina’s selection to the World Cup title in 1990, shortly before Yugoslavia’s civil war and separation. The team featured several future NBA stars, including Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac. Ivkovic’s team defeated the US team coached by coach Mike Krzyzewsk 99-91 in the semifinals – the last time the US was represented by college-level players in a major tournament.
Ivkovic led several teams during his 46-year coaching career, including Partizan Belgrade, CSKA Moscow and five different Greek teams, winning more than a dozen titles. In addition to the world championship, Ivkovic led his native country to a silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and three continental titles at EuroBasket. Later he directed the Serbian national team.
He ended his career in 2016 after leading the Turkish team Anadolu Efes.
Ivkovic, known as Duda, was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017 and named a EuroLeague Basketball Legend the same year.
“Rest in peace, Duda!” EuroBasket tweeted.
After his retirement, Ivkovic remained active as manager of a local basketball team in Belgrade, Radnicki, with whom he began his playing career in 1958. (AP)
“Basketball is not part of my life,” Ivkovic once said, “It is my life.”