Alexander Gomelsky

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Alexander Gomelsky
Alexander Gomelsky.jpg
Personal information
Born(1928-01-18)18 January 1928
Kronstadt, Leningrad Oblast, RSFSR, Soviet Union
Died16 August 2005(2005-08-16) (aged 77)
Moscow, Russia
NationalitySoviet / Russian
Career information
NBA draft1950 / Undrafted
Playing career1948–1954
Coaching career1949–1991
Career history
As player:
1948–1953ODO LenVO
1953–1954ASK Riga
As coach:
1949–1952Spartak Leningrad (women)
1953–1966ASK Riga
1956–1959Soviet Union (assistant)
1963–1970Soviet Union
1966–1988CSKA Moscow
1976–1988Soviet Union
1988–1989Tenerife AB
1990–1991CSP Limoges
Career highlights and awards
As a head coach
Basketball Hall of Fame as coach
FIBA Hall of Fame as player

Alexander Yakovlevich Gomelsky (Russian: Гомельский, Александр Яковлевич; 18 January 1928 – 16 August 2005) was a Soviet and Russian professional basketball coach.[1] The father of Soviet and Russian basketball, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007.

Alexander Gomelsky was awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee in 1998. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.

Coaching career[edit]

Gomelsky began his coaching career in 1948, in Leningrad, with LGS Spartak. In 1953, he became the coach of ASK Riga, leading the team to three Soviet Union League titles, and three consecutive European Champions Cups (EuroLeague), from 1958 to 1960.

In 1966, he was appointed the head coach of CSKA Moscow, where he coached until 1988, leading the club to 16 Soviet Union national league championships (1969-1974, 1976–1984, 1988), 3 Soviet Union Cups (1972, 1973, 1982), and one European Champions Cup (EuroLeague) title in 1971. He also led the club to two more European Champions Cup (EuroLeague) finals, in 1970, and 1973.

He also coached in Spain and France after the collapse of the USSR.

Soviet Union national team[edit]

Gomelsky coached the senior Soviet Union national team for almost 30 years, leading them to 7 EuroBasket titles (1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1979, and 1981), 2 FIBA World Cup titles (1967, and 1982), and the Summer Olympic Games gold medal in 1988.

He was originally the Soviet national team head coach in 1972, and was expected to coach the team at the 1972 Summer Olympic games, but the KGB confiscated his passport, fearing that, since Gomelsky was Jewish, he would defect to Israel.[2] The Soviet team, with Vladimir Kondrashin as their coach, won their first Olympic gold medal that year, after a controversial game against the United States.


For merits in the development of sports and basketball was awarded:

Career achievements[edit]

Club competitions[edit]

National team competitions[edit]

Post coaching career[edit]

Grave of Gomelsky at the Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow

In his later years, Gomelsky was the president of CSKA Moscow. In 1995, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.

The EuroLeague's annual Alexander Gomelsky EuroLeague Coach of the Year award is named after him, and so is Alexander Gomelsky Universal Sports Hall CSKA.[3]

See also[edit]


  • A. Ya. Gomelsky (1985). Team Management in Basketball (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2007.


  1. ^ YIVO | Sport: Jews in Sport in the USSR Archived 29 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.
  2. ^ Aleksandr "Sascha" Gomelsky. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.
  3. ^ Professional Basketball Club CSKA Moscow. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.

External links[edit]