Alexander Yakovlevich Gomelsky (Russian: Гомельский, Александр Яковлевич; 18 January 1928 – 16 August 2005) was a Soviet and Russian professional basketball player and coach. The father of Soviet and Russian basketball, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007.
|Born||18 January 1928|
Kronstadt, Leningrad Oblast, RSFSR, Soviet Union
|Died||16 August 2005 (aged 77)|
|Nationality||Soviet / Russian|
|Position||Point guard / Shooting guard|
|1949–1952||Spartak Leningrad (women)|
|1969–1980, 1985–1986||CSKA Moscow|
|Career highlights and awards|
|As a head coach
|Basketball Hall of Fame as coach|
|FIBA Hall of Fame as coach|
Club coaching careerEdit
Gomelsky began his coaching career in 1949, in Leningrad, with the women's team of LGS Spartak. In 1953, he became the coach of Rīgas ASK, leading the team to three Soviet Union League titles (1955, 1957, 1958), and three consecutive European Champions Cups (EuroLeague), from 1958 to 1960.
In 1969, he was appointed the head coach of CSKA Moscow, leading the club to 10 Soviet Union national league championships (1970–1974, 1976–1980), 2 Soviet Union Cups (1972, 1973), and one European Champions Cup (EuroLeague) title in 1971. He also led the club to two more European Champions Cup (EuroLeague) finals, in 1970, and 1973.
He also coached in Spain and France shortly before the dissolution of the USSR.
National team coaching careerEdit
Gomelsky was the long-time head coach of the senior Soviet Union national team, leading them to 6 EuroBasket titles (1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1979, and 1981), 2 FIBA World Cup titles (1967, and 1982), and the Summer Olympic Games gold medal in 1988.
He was originally the Soviet national team head coach in 1972, and was expected to coach the team at the 1972 Summer Olympic games, but the KGB confiscated his passport, fearing that, since Gomelsky was Jewish, he would defect to Israel. The Soviet team, with Vladimir Kondrashin as their coach, won their first Olympic gold medal that year, after a controversial game against the United States.
For merits in the development of sports and basketball was awarded:
- Honored Coach of the USSR: 1956
- Master of Sports of the USSR International Class: 1965
- 4× Soviet Union Coach of the Year: 1967, 1977, 1982, 1988
- Honored Coach of the Lithuanian SSR: 1982
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour: 1982
- Order of the Red Star
- Order of Friendship of Peoples
- 2 Orders of the Badge of Honour
- Honored Worker of Physical Culture of Russia: 1993
- Silver Olympic Order: 1998
- Order of Merit (Ukraine): 2003
- EuroLeague: 4 (Rīgas ASK: 1958, 1959, 1960 & CSKA Moscow: 1971)
- Soviet League: 13 (Rīgas ASK: 1955, 1957, 1958 & CSKA Moscow: 1970–1974, 1976–1980)
- Soviet Cup: 2 (CSKA Moscow: 1972, 1973)
National team competitionsEdit
- 1963 FIBA World Championship: Bronze
- EuroBasket 1963: Gold
- 1964 Summer Olympics: Silver
- EuroBasket 1965: Gold
- 1967 FIBA World Championship: Gold
- EuroBasket 1967: Gold
- 1968 Summer Olympics: Bronze
- EuroBasket 1969: Gold
- 1970 FIBA World Championship: Bronze
- EuroBasket 1977: Silver
- 1978 FIBA World Championship: Silver
- EuroBasket 1979: Gold
- 1980 Summer Olympics: Bronze
- EuroBasket 1981: Gold
- 1982 FIBA World Championship: Gold
- EuroBasket 1983: Bronze
- EuroBasket 1987: Silver
- 1988 Summer Olympics: Gold
Post coaching careerEdit
In his later years, Gomelsky was the president of the Russian Basketball Federation and CSKA Moscow. In 1995, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.
Every year the Gomelsky Cup is organized by CSKA in honor of its legendary coach.
- YIVO | Sport: Jews in Sport in the USSR Archived 29 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Yivoencyclopedia.org. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.
- Aleksandr "Sascha" Gomelsky. Jewishsports.net. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.
- Professional Basketball Club CSKA Moscow. Cskabasket.com. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.
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