Sergei A. Belov
As a four-time Olympian and a member of four European Championship teams for the U.S.S.R., Sergei Belov is widely considered the greatest international player of all time. Regarded as a magician with the basketball, Belov’s playing skills were advanced for the international game. The “Jerry West of Russia” used his significant court presence to make the Soviet national team a force in Olympic competition, winning three bronze medals and one gold. The historic gold medal came at the 1972 Olympic Games. The Soviet win that year signaled a new era in basketball as America’s dominance of its homegrown sport abruptly ended. Five years prior, in 1967, Belov helped the Soviets to the first of two World Championships during his time with the national team while simultaneously guiding the CSKA Moscow club to the top tier of Soviet basketball.