By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
A few hours after suffering a heart attack, longtime basketball servant Zoran Sretenovic died in Belgrade on Thursday, as confirmed by his former teams in Serbia and the Basketball Federation of Serbia. He was 57.
Playing days stretching from 1984 to 2001 were highlighted by a couple of gold medals in the 1991 and 1995 editions of EuroBasket. Yugoslavia and FR Yugoslavia teammates included Sasha Djordjevic, Vlade Divac, Predrag Danilovic, Zoran Savic, Toni Kukoc, Sasha Obradovic, Zarko Paspalj, Zeljko Rebraca, Dejan Tomasevic, Dejan Bodiroga, among others. Yugoslavia beat host Italy in 1991 and FR Yugoslavia edged Lithuania in Athens four years later.
At the club level, he was a key part of all three straight FIBA European Champions Cup titles for Jugoplastika in 1988-89 and 1989-90, and POP 84 in 1990-91. The three championship runs in a row marked the history of Europe’s premier club continental competition, now labeled as Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, and matched Rigas ASK winning the first three championships in competition history from 1958 to 1960. In addition, he was crowned champion of the Yugoslav League four times, captured three Cups, and also became a German Cup winner in 1992.
Besides the team based in Split, Sretenovic was among the few players joining both Belgrade rivals, Crvena Zvezda and Partizan. Experience abroad sent him to Germany and Bamberg, France and Antibes, and Poland and Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski. His coaching career from 2001 to 2016 featured head coaching stints at Buducnost, Igokea, and more.
Photo Credit: Kosarkaski savez SRB