Slovenian great Beno Udrih officially retires

2021-11-27T21:58:22+00:00 2021-11-28T01:39:01+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

27/Nov/21 21:58

Beno Udrih last stepped on a court back in 2018 but he admitted it was too difficult for him to officially say that his playing days are over.

By Eurohoops team /

Two-time NBA champion Beno Udrih announced his retirement from basketball at 39 years of age. Even though Udrih played his last game three years ago with Zalgiris Kaunas and has been working as player development coach on the New Orleans Pelicans since 2020, he hadn’t officially put an end to his career until today (27/11) via a post on Instagram.

“They say professional athletes die two deaths- the first being when you’re unable to play the sport any longer,” Udrih wrote. “It has taken me 2 long years to accept and announce my retirement from playing basketball. Coming from a small village in Slovenia to playing 13 consecutive years in the NBA and winning 2 championships, is more than I could have dreamed of and I loved every minute of it. Basketball has been a part of my life professionally since I was 16 years old and is something I hope I never have to give up. I now want to be a coach just as badly as I wanted to be a professional player back when I was a kid. I hope to share my knowledge and guide the next generation, just as many coaches did for me.

Thank you to the fans & everyone that supported me along the way, especially my family.”

In 2005, Udrih won the NBA championship as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. He and big man Rasho Nesterovic (now Secretary-General of the Slovenian Basketball Federation) then became the first Slovenians to claim an NBA ring.

Udrih won his second NBA title in 2007, his last year with the Spurs. He overall played 874 games in the NBA through 13 seasons with such teams as the Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, and, lastly, Detroit Pistons.

In Europe, Udrih played four seasons in EuroLeague with Union Olimpija, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Zalgiris. He won multiple domestic titles in ABA League, Slovenia, Israel and Lithuania.