Borislav Stanković

Borislav "Bora" Stanković (Serbian Cyrillic: Борислав "Бора" Станковић; 9 July 1925 – 20 March 2020) was a Serbian basketball player and coach, as well as a longtime administrator in the sport's various governing bodies, including FIBA and the International Olympic Committee. He played 36 games for the Yugoslavian national basketball team internationally.

Borislav Stanković
Борислав Станковић
Borislav Bora Stanković.jpg
2nd Secretary General of FIBA
In office
1 January 1976 – 1 January 2003
Preceded byWilliam Jones
Succeeded byPatrick Baumann
Personal details
Born(1925-07-09)9 July 1925
Bihać, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Died20 March 2020(2020-03-20) (aged 94)
Belgrade, Serbia
Alma materUniversity of Belgrade
  • Basketball player
  • table tennis player
  • basketball coach
  • basketball executive
  • veterinarian
  • sports administrator
Nickname(s)Bora (Serbian Cyrillic: Бора),
Boris (Борис)
Basketball career
Career information
Playing career1946–1953
Number15, 4
Coaching career1950–1970
Career history
As player:
1946–1948Crvena Zvezda
1948–1950Železničar Belgrade
As coach:
BSK / OKK Belgrade
1969–1970OKK Belgrade
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As head coach:

As executive:

Basketball Hall of Fame
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
FIBA Hall of Fame as coach

While he was FIBA's Secretary General, Stanković pushed for FIBA to allow players from the NBA to compete at the Summer Olympics. In 1989, he introduced a resolution to change FIBA rules to allow players from the NBA to compete, and the subsequent vote passed 56-13. This led to the formation of the United States' Dream Team that won gold at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

For his contributions to the game of basketball, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.[1] He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007.


Simultaneous to his studies, Stanković played professionally for Crvena zvezda (1946–1948), Železničar Beograd (1948–1950), and Partizan (1950–1953), and was on the senior Yugoslav national basketball team for five years, in the early 1950s. After he retired from the game, he coached OKK Beograd for ten consecutive seasons (1953–1963), and for a season in 1965. He then moved on to the Italian club Pallacanestro Cantù, spending three seasons as its head coach (1966–1969).

Throughout his lengthy involvement with basketball, Stanković was a part of the Yugoslav Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, and the Board of Trustees at the Basketball Hall of Fame. He served as FIBA's second Secretary General from 1976 to 2002.[2]

From the beginning of his tenure as Secretary General, Stanković wanted FIBA to allow NBA players in international competitions, especially the Olympics.[3] At the FIBA Congress in Madrdid in 1986, his attempt to pass that resolution failed by a vote of 31-27.[4] Undeterred, he continued to campaign for the idea, and at the 1989 FIBA Congress in Munich, his resolution passed by a vote of 56-13. Beginning at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, NBA players began competing at all of FIBA's international competitions from then on.[3]

Other than Serbian, Stanković fluently spoke six other languages. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991, as a contributor. He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.[5] In 2007, he was enshrined as a contributor into the FIBA Hall of Fame. FIBA named the annual international basketball cup the "FIBA Stanković Continental Champions' Cup".

Personal lifeEdit

Stanković was born in Bihać, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina). Early in his life, he moved to Novi Sad, and then to the Syrmian town of Ledinci, during World War II. After the war, Stanković went to Belgrade, where he graduated from the University of Belgrade, with a degree in veterinary medicine. In 1966, he pledged his efforts to basketball full-time, ending a 10-year career as a veterinary inspector for meat control in Belgrade.[6]

Stanković died on 20 March 2020 in Belgrade.[7][8][9] He had one daughter, two granddaughters and two great grandchildren.

Orders and special awardsEdit

The following is a selected list of orders and special awards:

In popular cultureEdit

Stanković is portrayed by Aleksandar Radojičić in the 2015 Serbian sports drama We Will Be the World Champions[10] and the 2016 Serbian TV series The World Champions.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  2. ^ "FIBA mourns the passing of Secretary General Emeritius Borislav Stankovic". FIBA. 20 March 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b McCallum, Jack (2013). Dream Team How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever. Random House. ISBN 9780345520494. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  4. ^ Cronin, Brian (14 June 2011). "Sports Legend Revealed: Did the U.S. vote against sending NBA players to the 1992 Olympics?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  5. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  6. ^ Secretary General Emeritus.
  7. ^ "Former FIBA head Borislav Stankovic dies". Associated Press. 20 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Former FIBA head Borislav Stankovic dies". AP NEWS. 2020-03-20. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  9. ^ "Former FIBA chief Borislav Stankovic dies at 94 |". Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  10. ^ "We Will Be the World Champions (2015) Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Prvaci sveta Biography, Drama, Family | TV Series (2016– )". Retrieved 11 May 2019.

External linksEdit