Šakota with Pallacanestro Varese.
|No. 5 – Cimberio Varese|
April 22, 1986 |
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Nationality||Serbian / Greek|
|Listed height||6 ft 10.75 in (2.10 m)|
|Listed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|Pro playing career||2003–present|
|2009–2010||Victoria Libertas Pesaro|
|Career highlights and awards|
Dušan Šakota (Serbian: Душан Шакота, Greek: Ντούσαν Σάκοτα, born April 22, 1986) is a Greek professional basketball player of Serbian descent. He is the son of former professional basketball player and coach, Dragan Šakota. He is 6'10¾" (2.10 m) tall. He is a power forward who possesses the height of a center and the shooting ability of a shooting guard. He has won two triple crowns in his career. He currently plays for the Italian League club Varese.
Šakota was born in Belgrade, but moved with his family to Greece at the age of four, when his father, Dragan Šakota, was given the head coaching job with the Greek League club PAOK. In the early 2000s, he played in the Greek junior league competitions with the junior teams of AEK Athens, which was his father's club at the time.
Panathinaikos - Panionios
In 2003, Šakota signed his first professional contract with the Greek club Panathinaikos, which was coached by Željko Obradović at the time. He did not play much, due to his young age. He stayed with Panathinaikos until 2007, and won every possible title with the club, including: the prestigious triple crown in his last year: 4 Greek League championships (2003-04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07), 3 Greek Cups (2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07) and 1 Euroleague title (2006-07). He was also selected to the All-World Team Roster at the 2005 Nike Hoop Summit.
In 2007, he was loaned for the whole Greek League 2007-08 season to Panionios, in order to get more playing time. He helped the club finish 3rd in the Greek League that season, and thus qualify for a place in the next season's Euroleague; the first time in 12 years that Panionios had qualified for the top European basketball competition.
In the 2008-09 season, he returned to Panathinaikos and with them he won his second triple crown. He got more playing time his time than in his previous time with the club, as made 25 appearances in the Greek League, averaging 5.0 points per game. He also appeared in 9 Euroleague games during the early stages of the competition, with averages of 8.1 minutes and 3.2 points per game; at the 2009 Berlin Euroleague Final Four, he was a member of the team's 12 man active roster, but finished both games as an unused substitute.
Victoria Libertas Pesaro and the accident
Unfortunately, his season in Italy ended before the conclusion of the 2009-10 Italian League season in a shocking way. On 25 April 2010, Šakota suffered a superficially light injury during a match versus Teramo. Following an incorrect initial medical diagnosis, which led to an equally wrong surgery the next day, he fell into a coma caused by septicæmia. Finally, the doctors managed to save his life, but he had to cease playing basketball for a long period.
Greek national team
Šakota holds dual citizenship; Serbian (former Yugoslav) by birth, and Greek, because he's been permanently living in Greece since his young childhood. In 2003, he declared his eligibility to play for the Greek national team, although, according to the press, his father preferred for him to play with Serbia.
Between 2003-2006, he represented Greece at the junior levels in a total of 59 games, averaging 13.5 points per game. He was a member of the Greek junior national team that won the bronze medal at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Championship. He has not played with the senior men's Greek national team yet.
Awards and achievements
- FIBA Under-19 World Championship Bronze: (2003)
- 5x Greek League Champion: (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
- 4x Greek Cup Champion: (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
- Nike Hoop Summit All-World Team: (2005)
- 2x Euroleague Championship: (2007, 2009)
- 2x Triple Crown Champion: (2007, 2009)
- World Military Championship Gold: (2009)
- NBA.com Profile
- Euroleague.net Profile
- FIBA Profile
- FIBA Europe Profile
- Eurobasket.com Profile
- Italian League Profile (Italian)
- Greek Basket League Profile
- Draftexpress.com Profile
- NBADraft.net Profile
- Οutrageous refusal from Dusan Sakota (Greek), newspaper Eleftherotypia, 11th Feb 2003.