Aleksandr J. Gomelsky
Aleksandr Gomelsky, known as the father and master of Soviet men's basketball, began developing the Russian game at age seventeen at the USSR Coaches School. For the next 29 years, "Aleksandr the Great" would win over 70 percent of the 2,600 games he would coach. Also called the "Silver Fox," under Gomelsky's shrewd and watchful eye, the Soviet National team Sbornaya won seven European Championships, and two World Championships. Gomelsky led the Soviet Union to a pair of Olympic Bronze Medals in 1968 and 1980, the silver medal in 1964, and most notably, the 1988 Gold Medal in Seoul, a feat that ended twenty-one straight U.S. Olympic wins. From 1953 to 1986, as coach of the ASK Riga and TSKA Moscow teams, Gomelsky won thirteen Soviet National titles.