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Bogdan Tanjević (Serbian Cyrillic: Богдан Тањевић; born 13 February 1947), nicknamed "Boša" (Italian: Boscia), is a Montenegrin-Bosnian professional basketball coach, who last coached the senior Montenegrin national basketball team. Tanjević was the head coach of KK Bosna, when they became the top-tier level European-wide club champions, by winning the FIBA European Champions Cup (now called EuroLeague) 1978–79 season championship.[1]

Bogdan Tanjević
Tanjević coaching Fenerbahçe in November 2007
Personal information
Born (1947-02-13) February 13, 1947 (age 72)
Pljevlja, PR Montenegro,
FPR Yugoslavia
NationalityMontenegrin / Bosnian
Career information
NBA draft1969 / Undrafted
Playing career1965–1971
PositionHead coach
Coaching career1971–2017
Career history
As player:
1965–1971OKK Beograd
As coach:
1982–1986Juventus Caserta
1994–1996Olimpia Milano
2002Virtus Bologna
Career highlights and awards
As head coach:


Early lifeEdit

Tanjević was born 13 February 1947 in Pljevlja, PR Montenegro, FPR Yugoslavia. In 1951, four-year-old Bogdan was brought to Sarajevo, SR Bosnia due to his Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) officer father Strahinja Tanjević getting reassigned there.[2] Attending Veselin Masleša primary school, young Boša got involved with basketball at the FIS outdoor courts alongside friends such as Uglješa Uzelac and Davorin Popović.

In 1965, after graduating high school, Tanjević moved to Belgrade where he enrolled at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy, studying world literature.[2]

Club playing careerEdit

Tanjević began playing basketball at the hometown Željezničar Sarajevo.

OKK BeogradEdit

In parallel with his university studies in Belgrade, young Tanjević played basketball at OKK Beograd on a team alongside established players Radivoj Korać, Trajko Rajković, Slobodan Gordić, and Miodrag Nikolić.

In summer 1971, he parted ways with OKK Beograd and agreed principal terms with KK Oriolik, a Yugoslav First Basketball League (top-tier) club from Slavonski Brod that had just finished its second-ever top-tier season in 11th place (out of twelve) and was in the process of putting together its roster for the upcoming top league campaign.

Having a whole month before going to Slavonski Brod to sign the necessary paperwork, Tanjević spent time in Sarajevo by frequenting the daily summer practice sessions of KK Bosna, a second-tier club with a batch of young players preparing for its upcoming Second Federal League season. Quite unexpectedly, within weeks, young Tanjević got offered the head coaching position at Bosna by the club's brass who liked the young man's vocal nature and enthusiasm. After months of wrangling during which he had to re-arrange different details of his personal and professional lives, he decided to quit playing basketball at the age of 24 and take the unexpected head coaching offer.

National teamEdit

Despite having a four-year run with the Yugoslav national youth team, having made the final cut for several FIBA Europe youth competitions from 1964 until 1966 under head coach Ranko Žeravica, Tanjević wasn't able to make the next step and earn a spot on the Yugoslav full squad.


Tanjević received his first call up for the Yugoslav junior national team by its head coach Žeravica in 1963 when he was only 16 years old. Tanjević later talked of his surprise to have gotten his debut considering he played for a "provincial lower-league club like KK Željezničar Sarajevo", commending Žeravica for not favouring players from big established clubs over those from smaller ones.[3]

In spring 1964, 17-year-old Tanjević, still with Željezničar at the time, made the Yugoslav junior team for the European Championship for Juniors in Naples in April 1964. As the youngest player on that roster, he had to fight hard for his spot until the very last training camp game, just edging out Staša Đorđević of Radnički Belgrade for the 12th roster spot.[4] Consisting of youngsters most of whom wouldn't later go on to notable basketball careers (Ljubiša Janjić, Anton Bračun, Ljubiša Stanković, Srđan Skulić, Miljenko Valcić, Slobodan Jelić, Tihomir Pavlović, Jurica Kosta, Danko Hočevar, Momčilo Pazmanj, and Andrej Brenk), the Yugoslav team lost 3 of its 5 games at the championship.[5] Tanjević got very little playing time, without managing to score a single basket at the competition.

In summer 1966, 19-year-old Tanjević, now an OKK Beograd player, was selected for the Yugoslav junior team sent to the European Championship for Juniors in Porto San Giorgio on the Italian Adriatic coast in late August 1966. Unlike two years earlier when he mostly sat on the bench, this time Tanjević actually got a bit of playing time on a roster alongside players that would go on to reach great heights in the game of basketball such as Krešimir Ćosić, Aljoša Žorga, Duci Simonović, Damir Šolman, Kosta Grubor, Dragiša Vučinić, Dragan Kapičić, etc. Yugoslavia made it to the final, but suffered a 21-point blowout by Soviet Union in the gold medal game.[6] For his part, Tanjević appeared in all five games Yugoslavia played at the championship, recording a modest output of 2.4 points per game.[7]

Club coaching careerEdit

KK BosnaEdit

In 1971, 24-year-old Tanjević got named as head coach of KK Bosna, a club playing in the second-tier Yugoslav Second Federal League.

1971–72: Gaining promotionEdit

Inheriting a roster of youngsters such as 19-year-old Žarko Varajić, Ante Đogić, Rođeni Krvavac, 21-year-old center Zdravko Čečur, Jovo Terzić, 22-year-old Mirsad Milavić, Milan Pavlić, Slobodan Pejović, and Aleksandar Nadaždin,[8] Tanjević brought in 22-year-old guard Svetislav Pešić from Partizan Belgrade[9] and Bruno Soče, also arriving from Belgrade.[10] Furthermore, the head coach sought to establish authority over players only a couple of years younger than him. To that end he re-hauled the training regiment, instituting practice sessions twice a day while introducing strict discipline.[11]

The new approach produced immediate results as the club managed to gain promotion in Tanjević's first season. The promotion was secured in dramatic fashion in a single-game playoff against city rivals KK Željezničar because the two clubs sat atop the Second League's west division, having split the regular season home-and-away series, so it was decided that a single game (the so-called majstorica) would determine which team gets promoted. Played on 28 April 1972 in front of 7,000 spectators at the Skenderija Hall, only two weeks after the same venue hosted the iconic Yugoslav partisan film Valter brani Sarajevo premiere, the game was a tense affair. KK Bosna, that saw its 25-year-old head coach Tanjević suit up and play 20 minutes after a whole season of not playing competitive basketball, ended up winning 65-59. It was a historic success for KK Bosna that prior to Tanjević's arrival spent 16 seasons stuck in the Second Federal League, unable to overcome the last hurdle before the top-tier First Federal League.

1972–73: Delibašić signs; club's and coach's top-flight debutEdit

Over the summer of 1972, preparing for its first ever top-flight campaign, the newly promoted club pulled off a remarkable coup by bringing in 18-year-old supreme talent Mirza Delibašić from Sloboda Tuzla, in the process beating out bigger Yugoslav clubs such as KK Partizan for the youngster's signature. The signing was a culmination of the year-long courtship that reached fever pitch during that summer. Knowing Partizan already managed to get KK Sloboda's agreement to release Delibašić, Bosna management intensified their direct approach to the player on two fronts — Bosna sports society president Vukašin "Vule" Vukalović made frequent visits to Delibašić's parents cajoling them with financial terms while the team's young coach, only 7 years Delibašić's senior, essentially stalked the player during his training camp for the upcoming European Championship for Juniors in Zadar, eventually befriending and persuading him that Bosna would be the best fit for him.[12] Just before the season began, Bosna also brought in Ratko Radovanović, a tall and raw 16-year-old from Nikšić who hadn't even played organized basketball up to that point, however, liking the teenager's size and motor skills, Tanjević believed he could be molded into a good player, a move that would pay dividends a few years later.

Playing their debut season in the country's top-tier competition, Tanjević's young Bosna team finished in 12th spot (out of 14 clubs) with a 10-16 record. Though in the end they avoided relegation comfortably, it wasn't without a fight, at one point recording nine straight league losses, all of which was considered disappointing. During the season's low point, after finally ending the nine-game losing streak, the level of deflation among the team's fans was such that Tanjević got approached by Oslobođenje journalist Kemal Kurspahić with an offer of addressing the public directly via an op-ed of sorts in the city's only daily newspaper — Tanjević accepted, penning a piece urging fans not to give up on the team and boldly predicting a league title in the 1976-77 season.[13] With the skillful young players on its roster led by the country's most sought-after young talent Delibašić, many expected Bosna to be more than just mere relegation battlers. Delibašić who contributed with 15.8 points per game over the 26-game season,[14] already the target of criticism over his shaky defensive displays throughout the season,[15] publicly admitted disappointment with the team's overall performance as well as his own in particular while expressing confidence that the team still has title potential.[16]

1973–74: Achieving a European spotEdit

The following season, 1973–74, the team made remarkable progress with a 14-12 record that was good enough for the 4th spot (their record was identical with KK Partizan and Radnički Belgrade, but Bosna had a better head-to-head record). It was another historic result because it meant that Bosna would compete in Europe the following season for the first time in its history.

1974–75: A year-long army stintEdit

After coaching the Yugoslavia junior national team and winning gold at the European Championship for Juniors during summer of 1974 in Orléans, 27-year-old Tanjević went away to serve his mandatory Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) stint,[17] temporarily handing the head coaching position at Bosna over to Luka Stančić from Valjevo who took over for the entire 1974-75 season.

The combination of Tanjević's absence and the pressures of playing in Europe reflected badly on team's domestic league performance as Bosna finished the season in somewhat disappointing 7th place with a 12-14 record. On the other hand, they posted notable success in the FIBA Korać Cup, making the quarterfinals where they got eliminated over two legs by Ranko Žeravica's FC Barcelona — after winning by eight points 81-73 at home behind Varajić's 24 points, Delibašić's 16 (though he fouled out in 32nd minute), Pešić's 15, and Čečur's 13 in front of a 7,000-strong raucous crowd at Skenderija on 5 February 1975, they couldn't hold on to the lead away a week later, losing by fourteen 80-66.[18][19]

1975–76: ReturnEdit

With Tanjević's return from the army, the team also returned to form, finishing the league in 3rd spot with an 18-8 record, just behind Partizan and Jugoplastika.

Having been groomed by Tanjević over the previous years for a main role at the center position, the season saw the full maturation of lanky nineteen-year-old Ratko Radovanović who contributed with 13.3ppg,[20] largely joining Delibašić and Varajić as the team's main offensive threats and squeezing center Zdravko Čečur out of the squad in the process. Though liking Čečur's hustle and willingness to sacrifice his body, Tanjević largely considered him a liability due to his continual lack of fitness and looked to decrease the team's reliance on him under the basket by bringing up young Radovanović who in addition to better agility also had a height advantage over Čečur.[21]

1976–77: Letting the Yugoslav title slipEdit

Bosna led the league comfortably most of the season. With three games to go until the end, they were top of the table, two games ahead of the second-placed Petar Skansi-coached KK Split (Jugoplastika) that was coming to Sarajevo for a scheduled league game between two teams. Bosna won their previous contest in Split during first half of the season by 15 points. Going into the Sarajevo game, KK Split players seemed conciliatory, already pronouncing Bosna new champion in their press sound bytes. Bosna players, on the other hand, brimmed with confidence having just recorded a big away win versus KK Partizan, another title contender, on their home court in Belgrade.[8] However, in what was something of an upset, KK Split pulled out a notable away win at Skenderija, getting within only one game behind Bosna. Next fixture, second last of the season, saw Bosna go to play KK Zadar away and lose, which combined with Split winning meant a tie at the top. The final week changed nothing as both teams won their respective games, finishing with identical 23-3 records.

The league title was thus decided in a single-game playoff at Belgrade's Hala Pionir where despite leading for most of the second half, and even having an 8 point lead with three minutes to go,[15] Bosna ended up losing 98-96 courtesy of Damir Šolman's last second buzzer beater — a crushing defeat along with a feeling that they let the title slip through their fingers.[22]

1977–78: Yugoslav title, FIBA Korać Cup finalEdit

Managing to put the pain of the previous season behind them, Tanjević's Bosna team led the league from beginning to the end of the season, winning it comfortably in the end with a 23-3 record, two games ahead of second-place Ranko Žeravica-coached KK Partizan's 21-5.

Simultaneously, the same two teams made the FIBA Korać Cup final played in late March 1978 in Banja Luka's Borik Hall — Bosna's first-ever European final. In a game of great quality in front of 6,000 fans, the score at the end of regulation was tied 101-101, requiring overtime in which Bosna succumbed 110-117 to Partizan team that got a great contribution from its stars Dražen Dalipagić and Dragan Kićanović with 48 and 33 points, respectively.

1978–79: European championEdit

The crown of Tanjević's rich sporting career came on 5 April 1979, at Palais des Sports, in Grenoble, when KK Bosna, under his command, became the FIBA European Cup Champions (EuroLeague) champions, by winning the 1978–79 FIBA European Champions Cup.

National team coachingEdit

Club titles and medalsEdit

National ChampionshipsEdit

National CupsEdit

International club competitionsEdit


National team competitionsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

In March 1969, Tanjević married Jasna Selimović,[23] a basketball player herself who played for ŽKK Željezničar and ŽKK Voždovac during her career, even making the Yugoslavia national team.[24] The two met and began dating in Sarajevo while both played within the KK Željezničar system, for its men's and women's teams, respectively. Their wedding ceremony took place in Belgrade where 22-year-old Tanjević at the time simultaneously pursued world literature studies at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy and played basketball with OKK Beograd while Selimović played with ŽKK Voždovac. The couple has two daughters and a son. Though temporarily residing in different cities throughout Europe due to Tanjević's various head coaching jobs, his family's primary residence since 1986 has been in Trieste, Italy.[25]

In 2006, Tanjević came out in support of Montenegrin independence, becoming part of the pro-independence campaign organized by Milo Đukanović's Movement for Independent Montenegro; Tanjević's face appeared on billboards urging the citizens of Montenegro to vote 'Yes' at the referendum.[26]

In a 2013 interview for a Slovenian TV station ahead of EuroBasket 2013 being held in Slovenia, Turkish national team head coach Tanjević expressed a nostalgic sentiment towards Yugoslavia, stating: "I don't have a country anymore, because my country was Yugoslavia in every sense. Even today I think we were stronger together. My homeland has been stolen. You've got these seven countries now, but I don't have my own and neither do the two and half million of those who used to declare as Yugoslavs. And I used to be an extreme Yugoslav. Literally an extremist".[27]

During spring 2018, Tanjević publicly voiced his support for longtime Montenegrin leader Milo Đukanović ahead of the upcoming Montenegrin presidential elections[28][29] via appearing in Đukanović's campaign video: "Being a very political man ever since my youth, I'm reading all the newspapers cover to cover, and having followed the events on the territory of former Yugoslavia in the last 20 years, I think that Milo Đukanović is the best, the smartest, and the right man to be the president of the republic. To those who bring up Mr. Đukanović's longevity on the political scene, my answer is: 'Imagine the United States of America with Barack Obama in a 16 or 24-year term instead of just 8 and image how much better the world would be. And then give a thought to why the most developed country in the world is currently in the process of amending its own constitution so that Xi Jinping can remain its leader'".[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Nikčević, Tamara (28 June 2012). "Život je sjajna zajebancija". Vreme. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  3. ^ Tanjević at a coaching clinic in 1996 on YouTube
  4. ^ Tanjević at a coaching clinic in 1996 on YouTube
  5. ^ Yugoslavia at 1964 European Championship for Juniors
  6. ^ YUG-USSR 50:71 Archived 2016-12-20 at the Wayback Machine;1966 European Championship for Juniors Final, 28 August 1966
  7. ^ "Bogdan Tanjević @ 1966 European Championship for Juniors". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  8. ^ a b Popović, Srđan (April 1979). "KK Bosna, šampion Evrope: Ostvaren najveći uspeh jugoslovenske klupske košarke". TV novosti. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  9. ^ Pesic, the double champ;, 4 December 2010
  10. ^ Redakcija (1 December 2012). "SJEĆANJA NA VRIJEME USPJEHA KK BOSNA (5) Mirsad Milavić, nekadašnji kapiten: Grenoble je vrhunac svih generacija Bosne". Oslobođenje. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  11. ^ Životna ispovijest Sarajlije iz Trebinja[permanent dead link];Slobodna Bosna, 7 December 2006
  12. ^ Tanjević at Živa istina on YouTube;TV Atlas, 21 June 2013
  13. ^ Janićijević, Jelena (May 2016). "Sportsko popodne gost Bogdan Tanjevic". Radio Televizija Budva. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  14. ^ Stanković, Vladimir (21 February 2016). "Bogdan Tanjevic, national coach in four countries". Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  15. ^ a b Spasojević, Zlatko (13 April 2015). "Mirza, hvala ti!". Ex-Yu Košarka. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  16. ^ Sportske legende: Mirza Delibašić - Prva šansa u državnom timu;Tempo, November 1973
  17. ^ Igra, život, snovi;Monitor, 14 September 2012
  18. ^ KK Bosna - CF Barcelona;FIBA Korac Cup, February 1975
  19. ^ Mržljak, Jasmin (18 December 2017). "Prije 42 godine / Bosna pala u Blaugrani: Sjećanje na prvu europsku odiseju Studenata". Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  20. ^ Stanković, Vladimir (15 February 2015). "Ratko Radovanović, mind over matter". Retrieved 2015-03-14.
  21. ^ Tanjević at Živa istina on YouTube;TV Atlas, 21 June 2013
  22. ^ Miletić, A. (5 April 2009). "Tri decenije od istorijskog uspeha Bosne". Politika. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  23. ^ Miletić, Aleksandar (10 August 2013). "S venčanja pravo na utakmicu". Politika. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  24. ^ Nikčević, Tamara (28 June 2012). "Život je sjajna zajebancija". Vreme. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  25. ^ Velan, Elio (22 January 2013). "Bogdan Tanjević: Ono što se dogodilo nama nema veze s ratom, već s prevarom". Novi list. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  26. ^ Stodić, D. (15 May 2006). "Dejo protiv "Koka- Kole", "Marlboroa" i "Suzukija"". Glas javnosti. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Bogdan Tanjević: Meni su ukrali domovinu". Totalsport. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  28. ^ ""Zamislite Ameriku sa Obamom 24, umesto osam godina": Zašto je Bogdan Tanjević podržao Mila Đukanovića za predsednika Crne Gore". Nedeljnik. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Boša Tanjević: Milo je najpametniji!". 12 April 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Bogdan Boša Tanjević pružio podršku Milu Đukanoviću". DPS. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.

External linksEdit