On the initiative of the Serbian Basketball Federation , as a gift to Belgrade, anniversary was celebrated – 20 years since we have won gold on European championship in Athens, in 1995. The medal that can not be compared with anything else , whose celebration has become synonym for all successes of our sportsmen. There was never so much joy, happiness and emotions than on that July 2ne, two decades ago when Yugoslavia defeated Lithuania in Greek capital and returned to the throne, where it was before the sanctions had been imposed and competitions forbidden .
There were not 100,000 people in front of Stari dvor, as it had been on that magic night 20 years ago, but champions had royal treatment. Just as they eserved. Several thousand of Belgrade people greeted those who have left deep, unforgettable trace in the history of sort in this region, generation that, after winning the gold on the European Championship in 1995, has returned our country on the big sport scene.
The event started when the special guest Natasa Kovacevic, accompanied with the sound of Dragoljub Djuricic’s drums, symbolically scored goal. The building of Stari dvor begun to “ change colours” in the rhythm of the percussionist master. After amazing performance by Duricic’s percussionists, Viva Vox , great choir, came.
The song “Heart “ by EKV echoed from the famous balcony Amazing 4d animation “ flashed “ across the walls of the Belgrade City Assembly building . The counting announced the appearance of the people who will be remembered for ever as the celebration founders for our sportsmen in Belgrade . Before the reply of the welcome, a multimedia show begun directed by Dusan Jovanovic. The recorded clip of Danilovic’s dunk over Sabonis , Djordjevic’s three point field goals in the final game against Lithuania , tear of the great men from Baltic, fear, Marciulionis and Djordjevic\s hug and persuading of the Lithuanian players not to leave the court , the photos in which Sasa Obradovic is kissing the ball, but also the moment when Zarko Paspalj hold up the cup while the audience in Athens whistled to him … And when this visual spectacle ended , microphone was in the hands of Dejan Cukic, as it was two decades ago.
Zoran Slavnic, Vlada Divac, Dejan Bodiroga and Zeljko Obradovic, justifiably absent form this event, were greeted first . Others were there. They came to the balcony one by one starting with , in that time, condition coach of the national team Petar Zimonjic, physiotherapist Rodoljub Milic Giba, and scout master Milan Minic Slovenac, , then assistant in the Coaching Staff Rajko Toroman,. Then came the players. First, with tears in his eyes, came Zoran Sretenovic, then Miroslav Mica Beric , followed by center pair Dejan Koturovic – Zeljko Rebraca. After them came Dejan Tomasevic. Particularly announced was Sasa Obradovic , and Predrag Sasa Danilovic was greeted with the ovations from the fans. But the biggest applause was saved for Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic.
– Djordjevic Sasa, the one and only Djrodjevic Sasa.
Zeljko Paspalj joined his team while the crowd shouted “ Paspalj , you took the trophy “
And finally came a men who was an architect of this unrepeatable result , Dusan Duda Ivkovic .
While the funs where shouting “Champions, Champions”, the legendary Head coach and captain addressed them;
– You have always supported us. Your support was and will be important for us.
– I can’t believe that it was only 20 years ago.
Before this spectacular event on the balcony , there was a special reception on which the memories on the time before, during and after the European Championship in Athens 2015, were evoked.
The president of the Serbian basketball Federation of Serbia, Dragan Djilas , was the first who addressed the people in the Assembly building , He expressed his gratitude to the generation who initiated big successes , not only in basketball, but in other sports in our country.
–20 years ago I was lucky to watch the game that brought us gold medal for Serbian-Montenegro basketball, that came after sanctions , specific departure to European Championship. It was extraordinary generation , under extremely good leadership, and since then there are many medals, two European and two World gold medals but this one was special and remembered as such . People spontaneously gathered on the street and organized welcome for them on the balcony of the City Assembly. We all remember that and we all are grateful, because once again it has been shown that the basketball is our best sport. The hole nation enjoyed in the triumph of our Women basketball players on the European Championship, and I believe that it will be the same in September, in Germany and France, and that the team lead by the player who was one of the most meritorious for gold in Athens again play for gold– said Dragan Djilas.