Credit: Imago Sport – Scanpix
Credit Imago Sport – Scanpix

On Monday, the Serbian Parliament welcomed with basketball greats and friends, who said their last goodbyes to the legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic

Numerous family members, associates, godparents, students, and colleagues came to the ceremony, including Zeljko Obradovic, Dejan Bodiroga, Bozidar Maljkovic, Dimitris Ituodis, Nikola Pekovic, Duško Vujosevic, Svetislav Pesic, and many others.

The president of Serbia's basketball federation, Predrag Danilovic, gave his speech and couldn't hold his tears.

“I am here as the president of the federation and I have an obligation to emphasize that the federation would not be like this if it were not for him,” Danilovic started. “The whole of European and world basketball is reaping the fruits of his work. Basketball was not a part of his life, but his life. This was pretty hard for me.“

“I am proud that, during his life, I said that I love and respect him. And that I will love him all my life as well as his family. In recent months, there has not been a day that we have not heard from each other. I consulted with him first. He will always be my selector, he was and will remain,“ he added.

Zeljko Obradovic also said his goodbye to Ivkovic and emphasized how big of a loss that is.

“Duda is the man who was everything to me, the teacher, the coach, the godfather, the friend. He left an indelible mark behind. His legacy is huge. He educated a large number of players and made them better people. I met him in the late seventies. He invited me to play for the national team, he showed me great respect. I still use his advice today.

He had a sense of humor. He knew how to explain, to relax. And I haven’t forgotten that for 30 years. Duda thought and reacted quickly. When I told him that I wanted to become a coach, he wished me luck. He gave me the biggest compliment in my life - to have a good intuition. When I was the coach of Partizan in 1992, we qualified for the final four.

After the game with Kinder, it was late. We drank coffee at 4 o'clock in the morning and we went to the room where there is a minibar, and coffee as much as you want at 4 am. And he then showed me the rotations. We always talked about basketball,“ Obradovic said.

Ivkovic will be buried tomorrow at 12 o'clock.

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