Aleksandar Nikolić

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Aleksandar Nikolić
Personal information
Born(1924-10-28)October 28, 1924
Sarajevo, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
DiedMarch 12, 2000(2000-03-12) (aged 75)
Belgrade, FR Yugoslavia
Listed height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Career information
Playing career1945–1951
PositionSmall forward
Coaching career1951–1985
Career history
As player:
1945Yugoslav Army
1947–1949Crvena zvezda
1949–1950Železničar Čačak
1950–1951BSK Beograd
As coach:
1960–1963OKK Beograd
1963–1965Petrarca Padova
1965–1967OKK Beograd
1971–1974Crvena zvezda
1974–1976Fortitudo Bologna
1978–1980Borac Čačak
1981–1982Virtus Bologna
1982–1983Reyer Venezia
1983–1984Victoria Libertas
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As head coach:

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 Serbian professional basketball player and coach. He was also a professor at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Sport and Physical Education.[1] He is often referred to as the Father of Yugoslav Basketball.[1]

The future basketball coaches taught by Nikolić include Božidar Maljković, Dušan Ivković, Bogdan Tanjević, Željko Obradović, etc. Nikolić was nicknamed The Professor, Iron Sergeant, and The father of Yugoslav basketball. Nikolić was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 1998, and into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.

Early life[edit]

Though his parents lived in Brčko, Nikolić was born in Sarajevo, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, due to his pregnant mother, Krista, suddenly going into labour while visiting her sister in Sarajevo.[2] Young Aleksandar enjoyed a privileged upbringing courtesy of his wealthy father, Đorđe Nikolić, who had him at the age of 62.[3] After spending the first few years of his life in Brčko, Nikolić moved with his family to the capital Belgrade, where he would grow up.

Nikolić attended the Kralj Aleksandar gymnasium at the Belgrade neighbourhood of Banovo Brdo.[2] He then studied medicine and law at the University of Belgrade, graduating in 1946.

Playing career[edit]

Club playing career[edit]

Nikolić always had a real passion for basketball. As a club 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 championships in 1947, 1948, and 1949, with Crvena Zvezda.

National team playing career[edit]

Nikolić was also a member of the senior Yugoslav national basketball team during the late 1940s, playing in 10 games.

Coaching career[edit]

Club coaching career[edit]

After his playing career was over, Nikolić became involved with coaching, both with Serbia-based clubs, and those in Italy, notably Ignis Varese.

National team coaching career[edit]

Nikolić was also the head coach of the senior Yugoslav national squad, between 1951 and 1965, and later between 1977 and 1978. During this time, he coached two future Hall of Fame members, in Borislav Stanković and Krešimir Ćosić. Under his leadership, Yugoslavia won the gold medals at the 1978 FIBA World Championship and the 1977 EuroBasket; silver medals at the 1963 FIBA World Championship, 1961 EuroBasket, and 1965 EuroBasket, and a bronze medal at the 1963 EuroBasket.


Nikolić died on 12 March 2000, in Belgrade. He is buried in the Alley of the Greats, in Novo Groblje. After his death, Aleksandar Nikolić Hall was named after him, in his honor.

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "15 godina od smrti Profesora" [15 Years since Professor Died]. B92. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Spasojević, Nina (12 March 2018). "Ekskluzivno: Nepoznati detalji o profesoru Aci Nikoliću". Koš magazin. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ Život je sjajna zajebancija;Vreme, 28 June 2012.
  4. ^ Full Cast & Crew of We Will Be the World Champions.

External links[edit]