October 28, 1924|
Sarajevo, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
|Died||March 12, 2000
Belgrade, FR Yugoslavia
|Listed height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as coach|
|FIBA Hall of Fame as coach|
Aleksandar "Aca" Nikolić (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар "Аца" Николић; 28 October 1924 – 12 March 2000) was a Yugoslav basketball player and coach. He is considered to be so instrumental and important to the game's development in the country, that he is often referred to as, The Father of Yugoslav Basketball.
Though his parents lived in Brčko, Nikolić was born in Sarajevo, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes due to his pregnant mother suddenly going into labour while visiting her sister in Sarajevo. Young Aleksandar enjoyed a privileged upbringing, courtesy of his wealthy father Đorđe Nikolić who had him at age 62. After spending the first few years of his life in Brčko, Nikolić, still an infant, got brought to the capital Belgrade where his parents moved to and where he ending up growing up.
He studied medicine and law at the University of Belgrade, graduating in 1946.
Nikolić was nicknamed, "The Professor", "Iron Sergeant", and, "The father of Yugoslav basketball". He was a professor at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Sport and Physical Education. The future coaches taught by Nikolić include Božidar Maljković, Dušan Ivković, Bogdan Tanjević, Želimir Obradović, etc.
However, Nikolić always had a real passion for basketball. As a player, he competed for Partizan (1945–1947), Crvena Zvezda (1947–1949), Železničar Čačak (1949–1950), and BSK Beograd (1950–1951). He won the Yugoslav League in 1947, 1948, and 1949 with Crvena Zvezda. Nikolić was a member of the Yugoslav national basketball team, during the late 1940s, playing 10 games.
After his playing career was over, he became involved with coaching, both with Serbia-based clubs, and those in Italy, notably Ignis Varese. Nikolić was the head coach of the Yugoslav national squad, between 1951 and 1965, and later between 1977 and 1978. During this time, he coached two future Hall of Famers in Borislav Stanković and Krešimir Ćosić. Under his leadership, Yugoslavia won the 1978 FIBA World Championship and 1977 FIBA European Championship; silver medals in the 1963 FIBA World Championship, 1961 FIBA European Championship, and 1965 FIBA European Championship, and a bronze medal in the 1963 FIBA European Championship.
In popular culture
- In 2015 Serbian sports drama We Will Be the World Champions Nikolić is portrayed by Marko Janketić.
- Hall Aleksandar Nikolić
- Radomir Šaper
- List of FIBA EuroBasket winning coaches
- List of EuroLeague-winning coaches
- "15 godina od smrti Profesora" [15 Years since Professor Died]. B92. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Život je sjajna zajebancija;Vreme, 28 June 2012
- Full Cast & Crew of We Will Be the World Champions