Alexander Alexandrovich Belov, commonly known as Sasha Belov[1] (November 9, 1951 – October 3, 1978), was a Soviet basketball player. During his playing career, he played at the center position. Belov is most remembered for scoring the game-winning basket of the gold medal game of the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games, which gave the gold medal to the senior Soviet national team. In 1978, when just 26 years old, Belov died of cardiac sarcoma, a type of cancer.

Alexander Belov
Personal information
Born(1951-11-09)9 November 1951
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died3 October 1978(1978-10-03) (aged 26)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
NationalitySoviet / Russian
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
NBA draft1975: 10th round, 161st overall pick
Selected by the New Orleans Jazz
Playing career1967–1978
Career history
1967–1978Spartak Leningrad
Career highlights and awards
As player
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
FIBA Hall of Fame as player
Men's Basketball
Representing the  Soviet Union
Summer Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1972 Munich
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Montreal
FIBA World Cup
Gold medal – first place 1974 Puerto Rico
Bronze medal – third place 1970 Ljubljana
FIBA EuroBasket
Gold medal – first place 1969 Italy
Gold medal – first place 1971 West Germany
Silver medal – second place 1975 Yugoslavia
European U-18 Championship
Gold medal – first place 1968 Spain Under-18
Gold medal – first place 1970 Greece Under-18

Belov was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991. He was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007.[2]

Club career Edit

Born in Leningrad, Belov was the star player of Spartak Leningrad (later known as Spartak St. Petersburg), as he led the club to the Soviet Union League title in 1975, and also to three European-wide 2nd-tier level FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup (Saporta Cup) Finals (1971, 1973, and 1975). Including winning the title in both 1973 and 1975. During his club career, Belov was a two-time FIBA European Selection (1971 and 1972).

In 2016, the club that Belov played for was renamed to Kondrashin Belov, for a short time. The club was renamed in honor of both Belov, and the club's former head coach Vladimir Kondrashin.

1975 NBA draft Edit

In the tenth round of the 1975 NBA draft, the New Orleans Jazz selected Belov with the 161st pick of the draft; like the vast majority of Soviet players drafted into North American sports leagues, he would never end up playing for the team that drafted him. It would not be until 1989, that the first Soviet player, Lithuanian-born Šarūnas Marčiulionis, would play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

National team career Edit

Belov won four gold medals with the senior Soviet Union national team. While representing the USSR, Belov won gold medals at the 1969 EuroBasket, and the bronze medal at the 1970 FIBA World Championship. He also won the gold medal at the 1971 EuroBasket.

The highlight of Belov's career occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympic Games, when he scored the game-winning basket in the Olympic Basketball Final against Team USA, which gave the Soviet Union the gold medal. After that, he won the gold medal at the 1974 FIBA World Championship, the silver medal at the 1975 EuroBasket, and the bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

Life and death Edit

Belov was born in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union, on 9 November 1951. Belov died in Leningrad, on 3 October 1978, at the age of 26. His cause of death was a very rare disease, cardiac sarcoma.[3]

References Edit

  1. ^ 101 Greats: Alexander "Sasha" Belov.
  2. ^ "Aleksander Belov Bio". FIBA. February 24, 2007. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  3. ^ "Alexander Belov dies". The Free Lance–Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. Associated Press. October 5, 1978.

External links Edit