Throughout his life, Stankovic was instrumental in the development of basketball, as a player, a coach and an administrator, culminating with his roles as Secretary General (1976-2002) and Secretary General Emeritus (since 2002) of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
He also made significant contributions to the Olympic Movement in his positions as a member of the Olympic Committee of Serbia and Secretary General of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), from 1976 to 2002. As a member of the IOC for 18 years (from 1988 to 2006, then an Honorary Member), he sat on numerous IOC commissions.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Borislav Stankovic was a very experienced sports leader, in particular in basketball. He was always very innovative and always tried to be ahead of his time. On a personal level, he was very down to earth, very friendly and very reliable. He was a man who cared until his last days about his beloved sport of basketball and the Olympic Movement. For all these reasons, we will honour his memory.”
After early-age endeavours in tennis and table tennis, Stankovic became a basketball enthusiast in his teenage years, and went on to take part in the most important national and international milestones of the sport.
He won two national championships in Yugoslavia with the Red Star Belgrade club in 1946 and 1947, earning a selection to play for his country in the first-ever FIBA World Cup game in 1950, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He then coached teams to national titles in two countries (OKK Belgrade in Yugoslavia and Oransoda in Italy). And, as Secretary General of the Yugoslavian Basketball Federation, he gave up a 10-year career as a veterinary inspector to organise in his country the first World Cup to take place in Europe, in 1970.
At FIBA, Stankovic built bridges between East and West during the Cold War, and worked with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US to make the Dream Team a reality, with NBA players competing at the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992. He also joined the Board of Trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In his position as Secretary General of ASOIF, Stankovic represented the Summer Olympic International Federations on several IOC commissions, namely the Olympic Movement (1982-1999); Coordination for the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992 (1989-1982) and Atlanta 1996 (1991-1996); Preparation of the XII Olympic Congress – Unity Congress (1986-1994); Eligibility (1990-1991); and the Olympic Programme (1992-1994).
He also contributed to the organisation of the Olympic Games Athens 2004 as part of the Coordination Commission (2000-2004), and was a member of the Bureau for the Olympic Movement (1987-1999), plus other IOC commissions: Enquiry for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in 2000 (1993), Centennial Olympic Congress Study – Congress of Unity (1994-1996), and Women and Sport (1995-2006).
The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Borislav Stankovic’s family. As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House.
*Press Release courtesy of Olympic.org*
**Photo courtesy of Wikipedia**