Open main menu

Ranko Žeravica (Serbian Cyrillic: Ранко Жеравица; 17 November 1929 – 29 October 2015) was a Serbian professional basketball coach. With a career that spanned over 50 years, he is most noted for his work with the senior Yugoslav national team, during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. In particular, Žeravica's single biggest achievement was guiding the country to its first ever major competition win — a gold medal on home soil, at the 1970 FIBA World Championship — leading to a huge expansion of the game of basketball throughout Yugoslavia.

Ranko Žeravica
Personal information
Born(1929-11-17)November 17, 1929
Dragutinovo, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
DiedOctober 29, 2015(2015-10-29) (aged 85)
Belgrade, Serbia
Coaching career1954–2003
Career history
As coach:
1954–1960Radnički Belgrade
1960–1965Yugoslavia (assistant)
1974–1976FC Barcelona
1980–1986Crvena Zvezda
1987–1989CAI Zaragoza
1989–1990Irge Desio
1990Filodoro Napoli
1991Conservas Daroca
1991Slobodna Dalmacija Split
1993–1994Onyx Juvecaserta
1996–1997Crvena Zvezda
2003CAI Zaragoza
Career highlights and awards
As head coach:
FIBA Hall of Fame as coach

In 2007, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame. Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall was named after him in his honor, in 2016.


Early lifeEdit

Born to father Milorad, and mother Gordana, in the village of Dragutinovo (before it merged with Beodra into Novo Miloševo), Žeravica's education started in his village and continued in Kikinda, where he traveled every day by train. His family stemmed from Herzegovina by ancestry, having moved several generations before his birth to the Mošorin area, where they became wealthy farmers and land owners.[1]

Coaching careerEdit

Club coaching careerEdit

After he ended his basketball playing career, Žeravica worked as the head coach of various clubs throughout his career. He won the FIBA Korać Cup championship in 1978, and the Yugoslav League championship in 1996.

Yugoslavia national basketball teamEdit

Žeravica was the head coach of the senior men's Yugoslavia national basketball team to gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympic Games and 1970 FIBA World Championship; as well as to silver medals at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games, 1967 FIBA World Championship, 1969 EuroBasket, and 1971 EuroBasket. He also coached Yugoslavia to the bronze medal at the 1982 FIBA World Championship.

He was also the head coach of Yugoslavia at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games and the 1967 EuroBasket.

Health problems and deathEdit

Ranko Žeravica had a history of cardiac problems. In 2009, he suffered a heart attack and had a triple bypass surgery. In early 2015, he was admitted to hospital due, to chest pain and was diagnosed with a mild heart attack. He had a coronary stent surgery and was soon discharged from hospital.

Žeravica died, aged 85, on 29 October 2015, at his Belgrade home.[2]

In popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit