Radivoj Korać

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Radivoj Korać
Power forward
Personal information
Born (1938-11-05)November 5, 1938
Sombor, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Died June 2, 1969(1969-06-02) (aged 30)
Sarajevo, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Serbian
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 207 lb (94 kg)
Career information
Pro playing career 1954–1969
Career history
1954–1967 OKK Beograd (Yugoslavia)
1967–1968 Liège Basket (Belgium)
1968–1969 Petrarca Padova (Italy)
Career highlights and awards
FIBA Hall of Fame as player
The Žućko's left trophy, that was awarded to the winner of FIBA Radivoj Korać Cup.

Radivoj Korać (Serbian Cyrillic: Радивој Кораћ), sometimes also Radivoje, (November 5, 1938 – June 2, 1969) was a successful Serbian basketball player, from Yugoslavia. He died in a car crash at the age of 30, and FIBA Europe had established the Radivoj Korać Cup in his remembrance in 1971.

Korać was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991. He was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors.

Club career[edit]

Korać was born in Sombor, in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He started playing for OKK Beograd, at the age of 16, and played as a left-handed forward-center. Popularly nicknamed, Žućko ('Ginger'), he became one of the best, if not the best, player of the Yugoslav League in the 1960s. In 1960, Korać was named The Best Athlete of Yugoslavia, and Yugoslav Sportsman of the Year. He was the best scorer of the Yugoslav League for seven seasons, a record.

He reached various European champions' competitions with OKK Beograd. Korać was named a part of the best European selection three times. In a 2 game playoff series against Swedish League champions Alvik Basket, during the 1964-65 season of the FIBA European Champions Cup (Euroleague), he scored 170 points. He scored 71 points in the first game of the series, and 99 points in the second game of the series, for a series scoring average of 85 points per game.[1]

Yugoslav national team[edit]

Korać entered into the Yugoslavian national basketball team in 1958, and he went on to win five silver medals, and one bronze medal with them, in a total of 157 international games. He was the FIBA EuroBasket's Top Scorer 3 times (1959, 1961, and, 1963), and he was named the MVP of EuroBasket 1961.

He won the silver medal at both the 1963 FIBA World Championship and the 1967 FIBA World Championship. He was the Top Scorer of the 1960 Summer Olympic Games.[2] He won the silver medal at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games.

Personal[edit]

Away from the basketball court, Korać enjoyed theatre, music, and reading books. He was a senior undergraduate, from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (ETF), at the University of Belgrade. Surprisingly, he once turned down a contract offer to play with Red Star Belgrade.

Death and legacy[edit]

On Monday, June 2, 1969, Korać died in a car crash just outside of Sarajevo on the road between Vogošća and Semizovac. The Yugoslav Basketball Federation decided that no basketball games would be played in Yugoslavia on June 2 again.

In 1971, FIBA Europe established the Radivoj Korać Cup. After the Europe-wide Cup folded in the year 2002, the basketball federation of Serbia-Montenegro renamed its national cup competition to Kup Radivoja Koraća, a name it still carries today in Serbia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Stanko Lorger
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia The Best Athlete of Yugoslavia
1960
Succeeded by
Miroslav Cerar
Preceded by
Bernard Vukas
Yugoslav Sportsman of the Year
1960
Succeeded by
Miroslav Cerar