The Honorary President of the Serbian Basketball Federation and FIBA’S Secretary General Emeritus Borislav Stankovic has passed at age 95 in Belgrade. Basketball has lost one of the most eminent enthusiasts and a man with a great visionary , a man who is to be credited to the basketball almost as its creator James Naistmith. And it did not just happen that Bora Stankovic was inducted into Naismith’s Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield on the hundredth birthday of basketball (1991), when he was awarded for everything he has done for basketball. If we would try to describe Bora Stankovic in two words, maybe we should quote the former FIBA’s President , George Killian, who has named him – Mister Basketball- “ because basketball owes him for its growth and development !”
He was bon on July 9,1925, in Bihac, and when he was 3 years old his parents and he moved to Novi Sad . Although there is only on letter different , Borislav got his name after the famous Serbian writer, representative of realism, Borisav Stankovic . His mother Marija Soudil, a lawyer , was a daughter from a very successful family in Brno (Moravska) , and she lived in Bihac (which in that period was within Austro-Hungarian Empire) after her father immigrated. She met her future spouse Vasilije Stankovic , a lawyer from Novi Sad, during her studies in Zagreb.
Mr. Stankovic’s first sport was tennis, and as a high school student he reached semi finals in the stated competition for this age. He continued to play tennis as a hobby as long as he could , and he never forgot to take his tennis equipment to his travels around the world. If it had not been for the World War II , he would have probably been successful as a senior too. During the war he used to play table-tennis and he was the Champion in 1943 and 1946.

During the war he saw the basketball for the first time, at Tasmajdan, when he was 17 years old . Then he met the basketball pioneers in Serbia and Yugoslavia , among who were Nebojsa Popovic , Aleksandar Nikolic and Radomir Saper. For many decades they were “ big four” of the Yugoslav and World basketball , and they moved the limits in this sport all over the world

He was everything in the basketball. He played in the first, generation of Red Star that won most trophies (1946–48) and he won three championships with this team. After he played for Zeleznicar (1949–50) and Partizan (1950–53). With the national team he took part in the First World Championship in 1950 In Buenos Aries and at the European Championship in Moscow in 1953. As a coach of OKK Belgrade (1953–65) he won three championships, three times he came to the semi-finals in the Champion Cup , and with Oransoda from Cantu (1966–69) he became the first foreign coach who won the Italian Championship (1968). Several famous Italian players , such as Pierluigi Marzorati , and Carlo Recalcati , future national Head Coach, played in this team.

In the first after war year he won titles in two different sports. He was the Champion of Belgrade in table-tennis and the Champion of Yugoslavia in basketball, both times as a member of Crvena Zvezda. He was player-coach until he became the coach of OKK Beograd, as while he was in Crvena Zvezda he coached the young team. The same was with Partizan, but in terms of senior team. In the team of OKK Beograd he launched Radivoj Korac as the first star in the history of Yugoslav basketball. Until he started his office work in FIBA in Munich , in 1969 , he worked as a vet.
In the course of his coach career he acquired the experience in basketball administration. He came to the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia in 1953, and then from 1956 to 1966 he was Secretary General until he left for Oransoda. During that time he was “ technico” in the national team , contributing immeasurably to the development of the national team and work of the national captain Aleksandar Nikolic.

The crucial moment in his diplomatic-sport career was the offer of FIBA’S fist Secretary General William Jones to be his Deputy. Mr. Stankovic was offered this post at the Olympic games in Rome 1960. At the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968 Jones trusted him to manage basketball tournament. Several months before that Stankovic became the Italian Champion with Oransod, to which he said goodbye a year later as he was offered to move into FIBA office in Munich . Jonson considered him as a man who can establish peace in sport , in that period of the Cold war and since the diplomacy was going through huge challenges. At the FIBA congress in Montreal , during the Olympic Games in 1976, Jones handed him the steering wheel.

Bora Stankovic has done so much for basketball which brings him to the highest places in its history. During his time at the helm FIBA entered its golden period, promoted its image both in Olympic movement and among the basketball fans , by attracting more than 200 countries in its association. He is credited But one thing that deserves to be called revolutionary is for sure the union of NBA with other parts of the world. The chance to fight the false amateurism ( as he said ) , against which he fought , he saw at the occasion when he met David Stern, NBA Commissioner, in Milan 1984. He attracted Mr. Stern by his attitudes at the press conference, and together they gradually opened door of the FIBA competition for the players from the best leagues in the world. When American professionals, headed by Michael Jordan, appeared at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 , basketball entered into its new era. Union between NBA and FIBA was , from the global point of view, the biggest movement in Stankovic’s career , although many criticized him for the huge gap between “ Dream team “ and other national players. However, his attitude was “you can advance only if you play against better”. And he was right . At the World Championship in Indianapolis 2002, Americans were defeated three times in a row by Argentina, Yugoslavia and Spain and they won sixth place. In the same year Stankovic handed the post of the FIBA Secretary General to Patrick Bowman. Since then he was FIBA Secretary General Emeritus, and in the Serbian Basketball Federation he was the Honorary President.
As a Member of FIBA commission for EuroCups from its foundation, later on its chairman, and as a Director of the biggest basketball events , he had enormous influence on basketball. When a Champion Cup (today Euroleague) in 1957 he was one of the five founders. During Olympic Games in Seoul 1988 he was elected for the Member of the International Olympic Committee, after he was nominated by Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the IOC. He received one of the numerous awards in 1991 at the anniversary of the basketball 100th birthday when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield ( Massachusetts , USA).

During European Championship in 2007 he was inducted into the FIBA’s House of Fame in Madrid’s suburb Alcobendas (today it is in Geneva), which was then opened. He received numerous national and foreign awards. Among other French Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur (France), Olympic Order, the award “ The World Sport Leader” , Sport Academy , USA ,Belgrade October Award ….

During his life he remained devoted to the basketball and development of the basketball organization from which he originated . As the Honorary President of the Serbian Basketball Federation he took part in the decision making regarding some vital decisions for the Serbian basketball in the previous decade.
Date of Birth: July 9, 1925.
Place of Birth: Bihac (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Posts: FIBA’S Secretary General Emeritus, Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC),Basketball Federation of Serbia ( BFS) Honorary President, Honorary member of the Serbian Olympic Committee .
Address : FIBA, Ch. De Blandonnet 8, 1214 Vernier, Geneva, Switzerland.
Languages: Serbian, Russian, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish.
Married in 1949 ( got a daughter, two granddaughters and two great grandsons).
Hobbies: reading, music, tennis, swimming
Graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Belgrade
Veterinary inspector for meat control in Belgrade for ten years.
1948: in Belgrade acquired a Basketball Coach diploma , after he had participated at several coach seminars in Yugoslavia and abroad.
1966: left his career as a Vet due to the professional duties in basketball.
1972: FIBA’s Deputy Secretary General .
1976-2002: FIBA’s Secretary General .
2002 – : FIBA’s Secretary General Emeritus .
1988-2005: member of IOC .
2005 : BFS Honorary President.
2009 : Veterinary Association of Serbia, Veterinary Medicine Academy, Honorary Doctor, September 3, 2009


As a basketball player
State champion with Red star in 1946 and 1947.
He played 36 games in the national team jersey from 1948 until 1953, including the Eight European Championship in Moscow in 1953. Participant of the First World Championship in Buenos Aries in 1950

As a Coach
ОКК Belgrade 1953-1963 and 1965.
Champion of Yugoslavia 1958, 1960, 1962. и 1965.
Oransoda (Cantu, Italy) 1966-1969.
Champion of Italy 1968.
1953-1966: member of the Managing board in the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia.
1956-1966: BFY Secretary General.
1988-2005: member of the Yugoslav Olympic Committee.
1958: Elected Member of the European Cup Commission of FIBA .
1960: on the proposal by William Jones, FIBA’s Secretary General, appointed as the Deputy Secretary General of FIBA.
1972: Vice-Secretary General of FIBA.
– Authorized by FIBA Secretary General he was in charge for the organization of the basketball tournaments at the Olympic Games in Mexico City , Munich and Montreal, Women’s World championships in 1971 and 1975 , as well as for several European Championships.
1976: Secretary General of FIBA.
1976-2002: in charge of all official FIBA competitions .
1987: along with the National Basketball Association of America (NBA) organized the first “open” tournament , the national team of Russia and a team from Milano were hosted by Milwaukie, USA
from 1980: member of the Trust board of the Naismith memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
1981-1983: member of the press- commission at the IOC.
1982-93: Secretary General of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).
from 1982: member of the IOC Commission for Olympic movement.
1988-2005: member of IOC .
1988-92: member of the Coordination commission for 25th Summer Olympic games 1992.
1990-1994: member of the Commission for the preparation of 12th IOC Meeting in Paris in 1994. (hundred years anniversary from the First Meeting).
1991: inducted into Naismith’s Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame .
1992: Member of the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission.
1992-93: member of the IOC’s Enquiry Commission for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad
1992-96: Member of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXVI
1994-96: member of the Study Commission for a Hundred Years of the Olympic Meetings in Paris, 1994.
1996: member of the Women and Sport Working Group.
1998: member of the Executive Board of the Mediterranean games
1999: member of the IOC’s Coordination commission for the Games of XXVIII in Athens , 2004.

1974: October Award of the City of Belgrade for Sport Achievements
1983: World Sport Leader Award, by the United States Sports Academy.
1983: Order of Merit of the Venezuelan Basketball Federation.
1985: Olympic Order, awarded by S.E. Mr. J.A. Samaranch, President of the IOC.
1986: Charter for support and cooperation by the Basketball Federation of Côte d’Ivoire
1987: Medal for Merit by federal Republic of Germany .
1991: inducted into Naismith’s memorial Basketball hall of Fame.
1996: Naismith’s award for exceptional contribution awarded by Tipoff Club from Atlanta (USA)
1999: Ordre National du Lion awarded by Sénégal
2001: „Golden master “, award by “ High Directorate Forum “ Madrid
2001: Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, awarded by France.
2002: Merit for Yugoslavia, First Degree
2003: Award of the National Olympic Committee of Serbia & Montenegro
2006: Olympic Order, awarded by Dr. Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC
2007: elected member for FIBA’s House of Fame
2010: Order of Honor with gold rays by Republika Srpska.
2011: May Award by Sport Association of Serbia for Lifetime Achievement
2012: Special award by Sport Association of Serbia
2015: FIBA’S lifetime achievement award