Obradovic, Danilovic and Serbia bid goodbye to Duda Ivkovic at commemoration

2021-09-20T18:08:01+00:00 2021-09-22T12:07:06+00:00.


20/Sep/21 18:08


Serbian Parliament was filled with Duda Ivkovic’s friends including many basketball greats who bid their goodbye to the legend at a commemoration, on the head with Zeljko Obradovic and Predrag Danilovic who held heartfelt speeches

By Stefan Djordjevic/ sdjordjevic@eurohoops.net

While Dusan Duda Ivkovic’s funeral will be held on Tuesday (September 21), the commemoration in the Serbian Parliament was held one day earlier as many of the country’s greats, especially so from the basketball world, were present to bid their farewell.

Names such as Dragan Kicanovic, Dejan Bodiroga, Bozidar Maljkovic, Dusko Vujosevic, and Svetislav Pesic were present as was Dimitris Itoudis who just a day ago won the VTB SuperCup with CSKA.

Two names, however, that were perhaps the closest to him from the basketball world, got the privilege to hold a speech – Zeljko Obradovic and Predrag Danilovic.

The commemoration started with actor Goran Sultanovic recalling the bits and pieces of Duda’s biography along with the many recognitions he received. The President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic followed with Danilovic and Obradovic taking the next turns.

“There is nothing to add about the biography of Dusan Ivkovic. I am proud that Serbia had such a man and that it will have such a man. Dusan is great, he did go physically, but he didn’t go. No one will forget him. And those are not courteous words. He is the bearer of a different spirit. He is a lot that many of us are not. He was a great gentleman. He left a lot for future generations,” the President said.

Danilovic, in the role of the Serbian Basketball Federation President, but also as a close friend and someone who played (and won) under Ivkovic, tried to say as much as he could while visibly shaken and holding back tears.

“I am here as the president of the Federation and I have an obligation to emphasize that the Federation would not be like this if it weren’t for him. The whole of European and world basketball is reaping the fruits of his work. Basketball was not a part of his life, but his life. This was pretty hard for me. I am proud that, during his life, I said that I love and respect him. And that I will love him all my life as well as his family. In recent months, there has not been a day that we haven’t heard from each other. I consulted with him first. He will always be my coach, he was and he will remain.”

Obradovic came prepared, the same way he does in basketball, but the words on paper weren’t enough for him and so he had to finish from the heart.

“Gone is the man who was everything to me, a teacher, a coach, a godfather, a friend. He left an indelible mark behind. His legacy is huge. He educated a large number of players and made them better people. I met him in the late seventies. He invited me to play for the national team, he showed me great respect. I still use his advice today. He had a sense of humor. He knew how to explain, to relax, a great school. And I haven’t forgotten that for 30 years,” Zoc said while also adding a couple of anecdotes when Duda started showing (and drawing) him rotations on the wall of a room, at four in the morning.

He also remembered how tough it was for him the morning he heard the news and how he simply couldn’t hide his emotions despite having to coach the team that day.

He simply finished the speech with: “Godfather, you’re here (showing at his heart) forever and you will forever be. Thank you.”