Boban Janković

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For other people named Slobodan Janković, see Slobodan Janković (disambiguation).
Slobodan "Boban" Janković
Personal information
Born (1963-12-15)December 15, 1963
Lučani, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Died June 28, 2006(2006-06-28) (aged 42)
Rhodes, Greece
Nationality Serbian
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Career information
NBA draft 1985 / Undrafted
Playing career 1980–1993
Position Small forward
Career history
1980–1990 Crvena zvezda
1990–1991 Vojvodina
1991–1992 Crvena zvezda
1992–1993 Panionios

Slobodan "Boban" Janković (Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан "Бобан" Јанковић; December 15, 1963 – June 28, 2006) was a Serbian professional basketball player. His son, Vlado Janković, is also a professional basketball player.[1]

Early life[edit]

At the age of 7, Janković moved to Belgrade.[citation needed]

Professional basketball career[edit]

Janković (nicknamed Bomber)[2] joined his first professional basketball club, Crvena zvezda of the Yugoslavian Basketball League in 1980, still short of his 17th birthday. Over the next 10 seasons, he grew into a dependable 6'7" (2.01 m) small forward. In 1990, he transferred to the Yugoslavian Basketball League club Vojvodina of Novi Sad, but he stayed there for only one season.

Panionios tragedy[edit]

In 1992, the head coach of Panionios, Vlade Đurović, Boban's mentor from his Red Star days, was instrumental in bringing him to the Greek Basketball League club. During the 1992–93 season, the 29-year-old Janković enjoyed a good run of playing form and success with Panionios. On April 28, 1993, Janković nearly fatally injured himself during a Greek League playoff game between Panionios and Panathinaikos in Nea Smyrni, Athens, Greece, on the home court of Panionios.

The injury occurred eight minutes before the end of a tense playoff match. Janković scored a basket on a drive to the hoop while being guarded by Panathinaikos player Fragiskos Alvertis. However, the referee Stelios Koukoulekidis, wiped out Janković's basket and instead called him for an offensive foul. It was Janković's 5th foul of the game, which meant that he had fouled out.

In reaction to what he believed was a bad call at a crucial moment of a very important playoff game, Janković slammed his head hard against the padded concrete goal post. He permanently damaged his spinal cord and was unable to walk for the rest of his life.[3][4]

Panionios retired his number 8 jersey.[5]


After using a wheelchair for the final 13 years of his life, Janković gained weight, which exerted too much stress on his heart. He eventually died of heart failure at the age of 42, on June 28, 2006 while on a holiday cruise on the Greek island of Rhodes.[6]


External links[edit]