Tuesday
Jul072009

Aleksandar "Aca" Nikolic

Enshrined 1998
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
October 28, 1924 - March 12, 2000

Biography

Known as the "father of Yugoslavian basketball," Aleksandar Nikolic spent his life teaching, coaching and spreading basketball throughout Europe. In 1953, Nikolic took over the Yugoslavian National team, and with it turned a nation with relatively little basketball history into a European force. Nikolic's legacy extends beyond his winning teams. His grueling practices and coaching style with its five set plays, a sideline fast break, and eye-hand-chest defense, had other coaches emulating his techniques. Nikolic's Ignis Varese team in the Italian League swept all four major competitions, a first-ever accomplishment. The 1973 team was voted the best-ever in Italian and European basketball history.

Career Highlights

European Coach of the Year 1966, 1976
European Championship with Yugoslav National team 1977
World Championship with Yugoslav National team 1978
Coached two Hall of Famers on the Yugoslavian National team: Boris Stankovic, 1950-53 and Kresimir Cosic 1976-78