the Legendary basketball official Borislav “Bora” Stankovic, a longtime FIBA secretary-general and member of the IOC passed away at the age of 95 in Belgrade.
Borislav Stankovic first was a tennis player and later switched to table tennis. He was even Serbian champion in table tennis in 1943 and 1946.
After the second world war, he founded the basketball club Red Star (Crvena Zvezda) and became its captain and coach. He also scored the first point in the history of the Basketball World Championships.
After three years at Red Star, Borislav Stankovic became the coach of Zeleznicar, taking the club to the top tier league. He played for the Yugoslav national team for several years and was a member of the team that finished sixth at the 1950 World Championship in Buenos Aires. After Red Star, he played for a few more seasons for Partizan, until he finished his veterinary studies.
Along with his job as a veterinarian, he was the OKK Beograd coach, from which he created a powerful basketball dynasty of the postwar years.
OKK Belgrade, led by heroic scorer Radivoj Korac “Zucko,” won the national championship three times. They also played several times in the semifinals of the Champions Cup (what’s these days the Euroleague final).
After the OKK Beograd period, Borislav Stankovic led the Italian team Oransoda from Cantu and became the first foreign coach to win the Italian championship. Later he decided to quit his coaching job and dedicate himself to working at FIBA where he had been a member of the European Cups Commission since 1958, becoming permanently employed by the world basketball organization in 1969.
After eight years at the FIBA and after William Jones’ retirement, Bora Stankovic became Secretary-General of the World Basketball Federation in 1976. In this role, he actively worked on the development of basketball across the world and participated in the work of the technical committee when the rules changed.
During his era that lasted until 2002, basketball underwent major changes. A three-point line was introduced, the dimension of the court was changed, and halftimes were abandoned in favor of quarters to get closer to NBA basketball.
Borislav Stankovic was also an advocate of the idea that NBA professionals should play at the Olympics, and that happened in 1992.
Basketball Hall of Famer Stanković leaves a daughter behind, two granddaughters and two great-grandchildren.