President of Basketball federation of the Republic of Serbia Predrag Danilović, president of French basketball federation Jean-Pierre Siutat, Minister of Youth and Sports of Republic of Serbia Vanja Udovičić and Deputy Mayor of Belgrade Goran Vesić ceremoniously revealed the monument dedicated to forefathers of Serbian basketball.
The monument was built on the idea of Aleksandar Miletić and with our initiative in memory of our first basketball team that qualified for the first World Championship in Buenos Aires in 1950. The coach of the team was French expert Henri Hell.
We are very proud that some of the high level guest during this ceremony were H.E. Ambasador of France in Republic of Serbia, F. Mondolini, president of FIBA Europe T. Demirel, director of French basketball federation G. Radonjić, secretary general of Basketball federation of the Republic of Serbia D. Tomašević, high representatives of basketball clubs Red Star and Partizan, and the descendants of basketball players which we are honoring.
The national team of former Yugoslavia that qualified for the World Championship in Argentina had 13 basketball players from Red Star and Partizan. Nebojša Popović, Borislav Stanković, Radomir Šaper, Aleksandar Nikolić, Milorad Sokolović, Aleksandar Gec, Ladislav Demšar, Srđa Kalember, Tulio Roklicer, Dragan Godžić, Mirko Marjanović, Lajoš Engler i Volmoš Loci are remembered as the forefathers of Serbian basketball.
French expert Henri Hell is the only coach that coached four members of FIBA Hall of Fame – Popović, Stanković, Šaper and Nikolić.
It is our great honor that, with the help of all the mentioned officials, we managed to construct this unique monument. In this way, we have shown that we are remembering our past achievements, but also that we are committed to work together for a better future. We hope that the monument will be more than a reminder and that it will became a symbol for comradery.