By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Aleksandar ‘Sasha’ Djordjevic took over the Serbian national team as the head coach back in 2013 and has since led them to three silver medals – 2014 FIBA World Cup, 2016 Summer Olympics, and 2017 EuroBasket.
With the third silver medal, Djordjevic became the first person to win a medal at all three major competitions as both a player and a coach. As a Yugoslavia player, he won three Eurobasket golds (’91, ’95, ’97) and a bronze (’87); one World Cup gold (’98); and one Summer Olympics silver (’96).
Djordjevic already made history, but he might not be done yet. At the upcoming World Cup in China, he will have the chance to become the second person to win the tournament as both a player and a coach. Current Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic has been the only person so far to do it. Obradovic won the 1990 World Cup with Yugoslavia as a player and then led them as a coach to the gold medal in 1998. And yes, Sasha Djordjevic was a part of that team.
It will also be a chance for Serbia to win its first gold under that name. They’ve had much success as a part of Yugoslavia but are still waiting for the shiniest trophy with Serbia’s name on it. They assembled one of if not the best team they ever had with the following 12 players: Stefan Jovic, Vasilije Micic, Marko Guduric, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marko Simonovic, Vladimir Lucic, Stefan Bircevic, Nemanja Bjelica, Nikola Jokic, Nikola Milutinov, Miroslav Raduljica, and Boban Marjanovic.
They started with 11 wins out of 11 prep games, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.