Euroleague Basketball joins the world basketball community in mourning the passing of Borislav Stankovic, FIBA Secretary General Emeritus, on Friday at his home in Belgrade at the age of 94. Mr. Stankovic's life-long work helped lay the foundation for basketball becoming the global game that it is today.
"On behalf of the Euroleague Basketball family, let me express our condolences to the loved ones and many friends of the late Bora Stankovic, one of the pioneers of basketball in Europe," Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO of Euroleague Basketball, said. "His life-long dedication to basketball was an example for everyone, and the imprint he left on our sport will never be forgotten."
Although he spent majority of his professional career as a basketball administrator, Stankovic was first a player in the 1940s, winning two national titles in Yugoslavia and representing the country's national team on 36 occasions. He turned to full-time coaching in 1953, winning three Yugoslav Leagues and a national cup with OKK Belgrade, plus one Italian League with Orasonda Cantu in 1968.
While still a coach, he become Secretary General of the Yugoslavian Basketball Federation and then a Vice-Secretary General of FIBA in 1960. Mr. Stankovic succeeded William Jones, the first Secretary General of FIBA, in 1972, a position he held for 26 years, subsequently becoming the world basketball governing body's Secretary General Emeritus. Among his many accomplishments was the opening of the Olympic Games and World Championships to professional players in 1992, ushering in a modern era of globalism in basketball.
In 1991, Mr. Stankovic was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a contributor to the sport, and in 2007, he entered the FIBA Hall of Fame.
May he rest in peace.