Aleksandar "Aca" Nikolic
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.